I was honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at this organization’s annual convention. I have attended this convention over the years as an exhibitor and as a member. My busy schedule and the dates for this convention have not worked together for several years. Thus, there are a number of people I haven’t seen in those years. When I was asked to do a presentation on social media I was delighted. Wow, how fun would this be.
- I would get to talk about a subject I really enjoy sharing.
- I would get to see a whole bunch of friends I haven’t seen in a long time.
- The convention was being held in Arlington (a short 20min drive from my house – no airplane ride).
- They were feeding me lunch.
There are no minuses here in my mind. Well as time went on, some of this changed.
I guess I didn’t really notice the word keynote in the invitation email. I think of myself as a breakout session presenter. Most people think of the keynote speaker as a motivational speaker. That is just not me. However, the association president had seen me do this presentation at the Joe Vincent Seminar in January and I was assured this is exactly what they were looking for. Okay.
As time goes on and I was modifying the presentation for the timeframe available and to update some of my information; I began to worry that it wasn’t the right information. In the world of social media there are frequent changes and there is more information than I could possibly present in one hour. What were the attendees expectations? Do other presenters fret this much?
About a week before presentation day I started worrying about what to wear. It can be so frustrating to be a woman sometimes. You know guys just put on a shirt, tie, suit, shoes and their are done. We women are a different story. Which jacket will be the most comfortable and look the best? Which shoes will work best with the outfit? What jewelry should I wear. Remember, there will be a microphone. Some jewelry interferes with the microphone. Good grief!!
On Thursday before the Saturday event I return from Las Vegas. The news media is telling me that the traffic around the convention hotel is going to be horrid. There is Six Flags annual Freight Fest and Saturday promises to be a beautiful day so there will be a lot of people driving to Six Flags. Texas A&M and The University of Arkansas are playing football and the Cowboys Stadium at 2:30pm. Then there is the Texas Rangers 3rd game of the playoff game at 4:07pm. The Sheraton hotel sits in the middle of these three venues and I don’t think there is a mile between the three. So now I am officially concerned. Every worry is piled on. I call this head trash. Somehow I have it before every presentation and every meeting with a client.
To take as much control of the situation as possible I started my Saturday morning a bit earlier than usual. It did take trying on three different jackets before I way happy. I double checked that I had all the presenter tools I needed and was out the door to the hotel an hour earlier than I had originally planned. The only issue when I arrived at the hotel was convincing the parking attendants that I was there for a convention and not attending a game. They were charging event parking fees and monitoring who was parking in their lot. Couldn’t they tell by the way I was dressed I wasn’t going to some sporting event? The early arrival allowed me to find a quiet place to review my presentation one more time, take deep breaths and gather all of my thoughts together. The other benefit to an early arrival was the opportunity to say hello and spend some time visiting with friends.
The presentation went very well. There was a lot of interest and audience participation. Why do I always worry so much? A big thank you to FIWT for having me join them at their convention.
What business meeting gets you uptight? How do you deal with it?