Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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    Advice for Nervous Presenting & Critical Feedback – Reframing

    Some difficult pressures you’re facing can be made easier by thinking differently. Reframe things in your mind. Sure, not everything is phycological, imagined; obviously most things are real.


    I struggle with public speaking. For someone who physically trembles when on stage with a microphone, I did a bad job avoiding those situations. A degree that’s 50% graded on presentations. A management job where I host most of the meetings and brief the whole building every week.

    But one thing I learned after the first year. I stopped thinking of it as a speech, as presenting, and instead think of it as a discussion. I have some points I want to discuss with the attendees, to talk about with them (even though it’s only me talking). That made it so much easier.

    I stopped thinking of it as a speech, as presenting, and instead think of it as a discussion.

    I’m still not an iconic presenter (except perhaps the humour). But I can get through them and articulate my points, and that’s all I need to do.

    Now I even go to host meetings, totally comfortable winging it, and look at the content on the way up the stairs.

    Being Scrutinised

    Being the night shift manager, I have 3 more senior leaders on site who mainly work the day shift. This means I regularly wake up to messages from them, scrutinising the performance of the warehouse while they slept. On a bad day, I wake up to 10 messages from 7 different stakeholders on my phone, when I’m just trying to get my dose of dopamine from Instagram.

    That puts a lot of pressure on me, which takes its toll. But by re-framing that in my mind, it became a lot easier.

    Instead of thinking they were against me, criticising me, I think of it as: they want the best for the site. I want the best for the site. We’re on the same team, pushing in the same direction for the same team. And that makes it easier. There’s things we can all do better, and it’s all constructive.

    Ahh, that’s peaceful.

    Further reading: Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is all about improving the way you think about things to improve your life. The prominent book on CBT is Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns.

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