Day 195. Performance Anxiety

So.  Now you know my secret.  Yeah.  The proverbial cat’s out of the bag.  Even the mere thought of having to stand up in front of a crowd, or a group, and speak used presentingto be enough to send me into a tizzy.  To freak me right out.  To give me a huge case of the jitters.  To ruin my day.

You know, because yesterday I wrote about the first time I gave a speech.  What a nightmare it was.

Well, it didn’t get better, I’m sorry to say.  Not for a while.

Let’s fast forward to when I moved to Toronto, in 1985.  To work for Ogilvy (ad agency).  And the first MAJOR client presentation I was in, after getting there.  I was working on American Express.  Major, in itself.  Cardmember benefits are a vitally important part of their business, or at least it was back then.  Don’t know about now.

It was important because their exclusive selection of benefits was a huge competitive advantage for them.  It was one of the reasons consumers wanted to carry the card.  The project I was working on, was the launch of four new benefits.

Very important.

Which, in itself, was enough to give me a heart burn.

We worked on it for several weeks.  It was tough to crack.  Tons of extremely late nights and weekends at the office.  Finally, we Continue reading

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Day 194. Scared Witless

I can’t take credit for coming up with the idea for today’s story.  I was inspired by a comment made by Cupcake Travels on my post yesterday.  She was referencing a spotlightpublic speaking course she’d taken years ago, to help her overcome her fear of public speaking.

Which reminded me of how much I’ve always dreaded standing up in front of a group — large or small — and speaking.  Or even presenting work.  Which can be very challenging for a writer, working in advertising.  We have to stand up and present our work on a daily basis.

Yikes!!

As a child I was terminally shy.  Over the years I’ve really worked very hard to overcome it.  Some days are better than others, even now.  But most people who know me, would be surprised to hear I’m shy, by nature.  Guess Continue reading