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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are you there God? It's me, Mrs. Mullet. I really, really, really need to talk to you

I'm kinda freaking out right now.

Remember my personal mission bullshit presentation? You may have noticed I never wrote about it.

That's because I bombed.

It was awful. The jokes fell flat, the innuendo was stupidendo.

But at least it was behind me, right?

Wrong. I found out on Friday that my boss signed me up to give my presentation to a small business organization next week. Close to 80 people will be there.

Eighty people! I'll be looking out at this



I can see it now. My sweat will pool in my bra and spill down my stomach and it'll look like I peed on the floor. Or, what if I hyperventilate? Or vomit? Or vomit as I'm hyperventilating and sweating and people will rush the stage and all that'll be left of me is a pool of sizzling mess and they'll throw their chairs in indignant rage and shout, "We thought she was a marketing expert! She's nothing but an impostor!"

Riots. There'll be riots. Car fires and looting. Frail, old people will have to stay indoors. And the stray cats! Who will save the stray cats?

.....

.....

.....

Heh. Where was I?

Ah yes, I need your help. Desperately. Do you have suggestions on how not to freak out while speaking in public? The whole picture-people-in-their-underwear thing doesn't work. I need real tips. Real help.

In a real hurry.

29 comments:

Kayleen said...

Tequila.

Pricilla said...

You could picture them with horns.
Like Abby.

Other than that I like the tequila idea.

I did my best when I was medicated. You don't care so you relax.

Pricilla said...

Oh, congratulations. It must not have been as bad as you thought if he is farming you out.

tootertotz said...

I must agree with Kayleen and Priscilla...with limits.

You'll need a shot...two at MAX. Remember to stop at one or two. Anything beyond that and you may be the one in your underwear in public.

Good luck and bottoms up!

Ann's Rants said...

Deep breaths. Yoga deep--labor deep.

There's no magic bullet for stage fright.

I will tell you this. And this I SWEAR is true--the times you are not nervous at all, you performance suffers.

Nerves give you that edge. Think of it like your super powers. Seriously. They are hard to contain when they make you all itchy and sweaty, but that is just your super powers SO PSYCHED to be set free, so you can share your passion about whatever it is you love with the world.

Okay. Maybe you are totally not buying this. But I really feel this way.

Kate said...

Just imagine yourself naked. Wait. Is that right?

Nanc Twop said...

Tell your boss you're 'So Sorry', but you can't do it because you lost your notes in the lastest snow-icane... (btw, how much snow did you get this time around?)

But if that doesn't work, try a pair of those anti-nausea wrist bands. I've heard that they help for stage fright too. Good Luck.

Jen said...

Drugs

Keely said...

I got nothin'. I avoid whenever possible. I read somewhere that for most people, public speaking is less scary than only DEATH. Like, it's number 2 on the list. After DEATH.

I'm sorry, this is probably not helping.

Kelly L said...

wish I had words of wisdom - I hate public speaking and I do it pretty often and I still feel my face turn red - I still hear myself slurring my words.. but hey - soon this will be behind you too.... sorry...had to say it.

Good Luck!
kelly

James (SeattleDad) said...

Go to your doctor and get a prescription for a Beta Blocker. I have one, propylnol(sp?) that really helps. It is called the Anchorman pill, for it's rep with celebs.

No side effect either. That I am aware ub(sorry, wiping drool off the keys).

stepmumoftheyear said...

Yeah, I do.

And it is guaranteed to work - but you won't like it.

Write the damn speech. Practice giving it about five times in front of a mirror, with all the accessories you'll use in the real go.

Then give it to a select audience, like your husband. Check his reaction and ask for honest feedback.

Alter.

Repeat.

I regularly public speak to audiences of up to 200 people. By the time you're standing on stage you'll only be nervous enough to be motivated.

Confident knowledge of the material is everything!

(Sorry not to be able to offer a quicker fix...)

MaryBT said...

I got no advice. I flew halfway across the country to Las Angeles to give a speech at a concrete convention (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) about a subject that I know INTIMATELY. And I totally bombed. I discovered I am NOT a public speaker. lol.

But, I don't want to be a total bummer, so I will give you this little tip ... I totally screwed up my presentation but you know what? None of the following happened:

There were no riots (which was shocking since it WAS LA).

There were no car fires or looting.

The old people and cats were safe.

And, most importantly, I am still alive to tell about it.

http://marybt.wordpress.com (since OpenID still hates me).

Mrsbear said...

I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it.

About ten years ago I participated in a poetry reading. Vodka helped. But it was scarier than death, if you'd asked me at the time, I would've opted for death.

You? You'll do fine. Just fine.

To be sure, death is NOT on the table, right?

NYLady said...

This is what I do -- if you have a visual presentation, put something fun at the beginning (I usually put a youtube vid at the beginning, so while they're watching it I can calm down and collect myself). Usually, it's a funny or moving video that applies to my topic. While they're watching, they're engaged and love you because you're showing them something that will wake them up. And you can calm down. It's just the beginning that you're nervous, right? Works every time for me.

justme said...

in college my team won (term is relative to whom you are speaking, in a sense i think we lost) a big business program award & had to present to our entire class of about 300. i get nervous talking in front of more than 5 people. here are my words of wisdom:

1 - know your your presentation like the back of your hand, to the point where you can say it VERY comfortably from memory.

2 - have a drink or 2, so you're relaxed but not slurring (fyi, that would be bad).

now that you can say your speech in your sleep, the drinks will make it more conversational & not so rehearsed.

or at least you can easily say "screw it" if you mess up....

Jeanne said...

I have to go with the "practice, practice, practice" approach. I'm absolutely terrified of public speaking, and it's what gotten me through.

BTW -- you know this means it went far better than you thought, right?

The Mother said...

As a veteran public speaker, here are my tips:

1) Know your stuff. Never attempt to give a presentation on something you barely understand, 'cause someone in the audience will know it better.

This one doesn't apply, since you're talking about YOU.

2) Given #1, you know more about your subject than the audience, therefore, there's nothing to be worried about.

3) The audience is there to learn from YOU. So stop worrying. Treat them like a bunch of friends and just relax.

4) Practice your pitch ahead of time, but not so often that it becomes rote. You want it to sound spontaneous, not telepromter-ed.

5) Even so, never rely on your memory. Take notes, preferably on easily read cards, in bullet points, to jog your memory in the inevitable event that you blank for a second.

6) If you can find someone to listen to your pitch in advance, it's a good idea. They can point out spots where it doesn't flow, or where you might lose the audience.

If you must take a drink to calm your nerves, do so, but don't take more than one. Slurred speech does not make for a good presentation. Skip the beta blockers--the rebound is awful.

Lindy said...

Call in sick.

You are welcome.

Internal Momoblog said...

This may sound silly but helps a little. If you are using a podium, when you walk over to it, grasp it with both hands as hard as you can (but so the audience doesn't know). When you release it, your body automatically relaxes for a moment.

I also just tell the audience "Hey we all get nervous when speaking so have a little sympathy if I am shaking". Everyone laughs because it is true.

And no matter what, who cares if you suck? You didn't sign up for it voluntarily. If it really sucks, your boss won't ask again, lol!

JW.BW said...

i have to do presentations all the time for work, and the only way I dont totally freak is if I practice and practice them, usually I write down what I am going to say a few times then i rehearse and rehearse, that way even when i am terrified out of my mind i have everything so memorized it just falls out of my mouth. and if that doesnt work anxiety meds!!! good luck girl!!

Laufa said...

Congrats. When I have given speeches, I rely on a crutch - used to be reading glasses. For you could be anything. Wouldn't recommend sunglasses indoors though. Good luck!

Small Town Mommy said...

That is amazing! I know you are nervous, but obviously, your boss thought enough of you to rent you out to the highest bidder. It sounds like it wasn't as bad as you thought it was. Good luck!

Sorry, I can't help with public speaking eases. I don't speak in public.

blognut said...

Do that whole Apollo Ohno yawning thing to make yourself relax before you do the presentation. Or take Xanax. Either way....

Buggys said...

I believe I would go the drug route. A little xanax will get you through my dear. Test beforehand to make sure you don't slump over and start snoring. That would be bad.

Otter Thomas said...

I never started give any type of talk in my life without making some kind of joke. It helps me. Other than that always go with alcohol. It is your friend.

judemiller1 said...

There is no way--you just gotta step up to the podium and do it. And afterwards, you will see that it all went very well.

Nina said...

Love your blog...so much that I just gave it a little blog award -- Happy Cupcake -- cause it makes me laugh. Thanks Mrs. Mullet!

www.aylacentral.blogspot.com

Frogs in my formula said...

Thanks for all the great tips. Xanax, booze and Apollo Ohno yawning. All set!