I had to speak this morning at an 8:30am meeting full of sales people.
Of course I was semi-freaking out. Yes, I have experience with speaking in front of large groups, but it's been a while and I'm pretty sure it made me nervous even when I did it regularly.
So I made my outline, wrote it out, revised it, practiced it in my head (WITH the "Hi, I'm Ashley, Head Mom at blahblahblah", like I'm going to forget to introduce myself??) over and over, even in my sleep.
Woke up super early, got myself ready, got the kids up and ready so my mom could get them to school, raced there reciting my speech complete with pauses for chuckles and various voice inflections. Got there in time, but they don't just let anyone "back there" so I had to wait for an escort. They paged him and then paged him again and then wandered around looking for him. 15 minutes after the meeting had started, he finally waves me through the door of an old, small, crowded room full of sales people and says "This is Ashley, everyone. Go ahead."
Um, wait. I was going to put down my purse first. At least not plop it on the table in front of me with papers hanging out and whatnot. I needed some cleansing breaths. I kind of need to go potty.
But whatever, no time for that, so I get started. I start off really well but as time goes on and I'm watching these people watching me (bored people, mostly) my nerves get me and I start talking faster than I mean to. I also shoved the wrong side of hair behind my ear and I know I wasn't looking all MILF-like as planned.
I know it went well and I know it was by no means painful to watch, but I was more nervous than I would've liked. I talked too fast and fidgeted (that's why I made the fucking hair move, damn fidgeting). But would it have killed them to chuckle during the chuckle breaks? Some more smiles while I was making eye contact could've helped tremendously. There were some smiles and some note taking, but I noticed the bored people. Bored people, take note next time you're watching someone speak and try to look alive a little. Then I answered some questions and someone asked how old my boys were and when I answered 5 and 2, they said I should bring the 2 year old next time, that it would be fine if I ever need to.
I burst out laughing at that point and assured them that it would not be fine and he was actually the reason I know how important being able to socialize online can be because it's too risky to take him in public. I can picture him crawling through the seats in that crowded room, drinking people's coffee and going through their purses. Yeah, um, thanks but no thanks. We'll leave that to the professionals.
I have enough issues without bringing my #1 issue to work with me.
So, Executive Ashley needs a refresher course and I'm hoping that was it. All in all I did good though, I'm just mostly glad it's over. How many hours of worry for 5 minutes of talking??