10 June 2010

Pushing Boundaries

I had a speaking engagement this morning.  It was at another hospital, for their ER docs, speaking on a topic I know reasonably well, namely, medical malpractice insurance and the technical details involved in the back-end operation of a plan.  I did not really know these docs, but I had reason to expect a friendly reception.  Unfortunately, a heavy administrative and shift load prevented me from preparing for the talk like I would have preferred to.  So it was no PowerPoint, no pretty handouts, just a brief outline which I had sketched at 1:30AM after my shift, and five hours of sleep before the talk.


It went great. I may stop using PowerPoint altogether.  Wasn't it a US Army general who commented that "PowerPoint is making us stupid?"  I spoke for about 45 minutes without notes, answered a lot of questions, and was well received.

Afterwards. I reflected with a friend that there was a time that speaking extemporaneously in front of a group of peers/strangers would have been a source of great anxiety.  Now ... it's just Thursday. It felt good, like I was in my element, and it did help that I have done a lot of work on the subject.  Still, public speaking is always one of the scariest things I have to do, and I was nonplussed that it was coming so naturally.  My friend responded that he was not surprised in the least.  "You haven't realized it but your job has been changing over the last few years.  You're not just a doctor and not just an administrator anymore.  You talk for a living now. So it's no wonder that you're getting comfortable with it."

Then he added, with a wicked edge in his voice, "Just wait until you're speaking to 1,500 people."

Yeah, that will bring the anxieties right back, won't it?

1 comment:

Ladyk73 said...

I just gave a lecture the other day for the first time. Third year dental students...I taught a class! It was weird cause I am just graduated with my MSW a year ago.
I used to be stage fright. I then forced myself to play (a wee bit of a songwriter) at open mics a few years ago.
The lecture hall with 88 students was not too bad.

:)
good job