13/52 Pitch An Idea
Okay so, I hate losing. Now that’s not to say that I’m a sore loser. I mean, I won’t throw a Veruca Salt inspired tantrum or anything. Don’t worry. I’d just prefer to win. But I suppose that’s most of us.
There’s something about standing in front of a group of people and sharing your idea that is incredibly nerve wrecking and as I made my way to the venue I could feel my entire body filling with adrenaline.
I sign in, wander round the room, get a drink of water and make my way to a table where I’m met with two young men who ask me who I’m here to support. “Oh I’m presenting.” I respond with a super casual tone. “Oh awesome! How are you feeling?!” They say. “Yeah. Whatever. All good.” I take a sip of water trying to drink down my nerves and discomfort. Seriously. I felt like all my organs were about to explode out of my body.
People talk about nerves as if they're so easy to manage “Use that and put them into your performance.” they say. How the fuck am I meant to do that though!? I don’t understand. I feel like ‘using these feelings’ would result in me doing a cartwheel and running around the room.
It’s my turn. I go up and present as I believe a presenter should present and feel underwhelmed by my own words and delivery but I keep it together and go through my structure as planned out. “Just hit those points”. “Yep. Great that I remembered that bit.”, “What a line.”and so on. I finish and everyone applauds. The host asks the room is anyone has any questions. Silence. Is that a good thing? I always feel like that’s a bad thing. Did they hear anything I said? Anyways, I make my way back to my seat and I really don’t feel right. Something up there was off. I just can’t put my finger on it.
The evening continues and in the middle of a really dull presentation that I’m only half listening to the penny drops. The Nina that got up there, she put on the act of ‘presenter’ instead of brining Nina. If my instincts had me feel as though I had to explode with energy then maybe that’s what I should have done instead of remain composed, straight and clean. Make sense?
Bring who you are with all your flaws to the table and we will listen. We listen to those who show us who they are. Brene Brown said “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen.” But see, I don’t like losing remember. I’ve been aware of this for a little while and I realise that I must learn to be brave enough to show up and bring my mess with me. Something worth pondering.
On another note, pitching an idea whether in front of an audience or just one on one is such an important skill to develop no matter who we are. We’re building resistance. Sending our ship out to sea while others point out the bullet holes and poor foundation that will eventually lead to our destruction and drown our boat, this actually is what makes us better. This is how people build lasting companies and careers; they put themselves out there and fail regularly. Get up and use that failure as new wisdom for the next time round.
The thing about Veruca Salt is that despite thinking she’s a brat you kinda can’t help but also love her at the same time. I think perhaps this is because she is showing up as exactly who she is. No pretence. No apology. No showing up as how other people think she should. Just real honest unapologetic behaviour. I think there’s something to that.