On Tuesday, I gave a presentation on Tourism Career Awareness. As an artist you might be asking why? My hotel life job is part of my creativity and pushes me a little out of my comfort zones. I love my job because of the all the interesting people I interact with on a daily basis. Talk about constant inspiration – I love it!
This presentation was at a high school for a group of twenty-five, fifteen to sixteen year old students. When I committed to the presentation a month prior I was okay, I didn’t really think too much about it. I was given the slide show presentation and key points and facts to speak about. Then the morning of the presentation and I was walking to work I felt this rush of panic. I was nervous and my old behavior of being shy and nervous rushed in. “What are you think!? You can’t do this! They will never listen, bail out, call in sick, anything, just get out of it.” Believe me I couldn’t ignore the self attack yelling and I even shared my restlessness with some colleagues and they said the same things “You’re so knowledgeable in the business, you’ll be fine.” Of course we joked about the fifteen year old’s not listening because when we were fifteen and sixteen in high school, we didn’t listen, why would I think any different. Exactly. It’s funny how the ego (old behavior) can linger around without noticing it until brief moments like these.
So, I showed up to the school and there were brief moments of happy memories of my old high school in Halifax, NS. Those happy moments being surrounded by great friends and just being a student, no real responsibilities, go to school, hang out and pay attention once and awhile. What a life. At one point I said to myself “This is not like when I was in high school.” and I realized that my nervousness was dissolving, it didn’t matter what the kids thought, this was more for me as well. I wanted to become more confident with my pubic speaking and I did just that.
“Has anyone been to Tofino?” I asked and I looked out and the students looked at me as if I was speaking another language. How was I going to win them back? The teacher said she’d been to Tofino and I commented on the great opportunities in the small surf town. I moved onto each slide, each story I had about my days in the Canadian Rockies, working at the most amazing resort in Canada. I have had some amazing experiences!
I was fully aware that I needed to slow down, or maybe speak a little louder but softer tone, to lose the rattled voice and move around the room. When I walked around and pointed to pictures on the screen, or waved towards a student when they answered a question made me and the room more comfortable. By the end of the presentation, the students may have been bored or really not cared what I had to say, but I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I did it! I spoke in front of a larger group and survived!
One for me, zero for the ego!
Until next time, keep on typing….