Channeling nervousness into enthusiasm is one of the best hacks I’ve learnt for doing a presentation.

It’s not easy, of course. The judge sitting in on all proceedings, the internal one, continually mutters criticisms and casts doubt. Distractions abound, particularly those I can’t do anything about in the moment (like the person who abruptly turns off their camera).  There’s a never-ending stream of ideas that pop up as I discover things about the audience I did not know when I started, all preparation aside.

Repeatedly putting myself in situations of discomfort – at every Toastmasters meeting, or team meetings, for example – has been good practice. In the relatively friendly environment, I can ask for and get honest feedback (evaluation specifically, rather than appreciation or coaching) on what caught any one person’s attention, or caused them to flinch in horror or disgust.  Hearing it immediately after the episode makes it easier to know what fine tuning, or radical surgery, is required. Over a period of time, the effort delivers compounded benefits.