The last time I did a presentation was on a one-day training course in Basic Presentation Skills, and my audience was a bunch of equally terrified, equally young non-presenters who were overly appreciative of my stuttering efforts purely so I would be equally as gracious about theirs.
Add to this background info the fact that my husband is a professional presenter, and that almost everyone I know is way-above-averagely competent at talking in a clear and ordered manner about whatever topic you might offer them, and you begin to get a picture of someone who might be a little out of their depth had they been asked, for example, to present to a room of 30 business men. In two days time. Especially when a positive outcome would mean a huge amount, professionally, for a significant group of the afore mentioned brilliant public speakers.
I’m planning on getting through it with the help of several sleepless nights, a lot of talking to myself on the bus, a spare pair of non-snag tights in every pocket and a new top. It’ll be fine.
The main problem right now though is that I’m not even up mentally to the new top purchasing. I’m sad to say that several nights of excess in all the drinking, talking and kitchen-dancing areas has rendered me incapable of normal function. It’s finally happened. I am too old for it all.
It’s come sooner than I predicted, especially since I have put in some solid ground work to prevent it happening. I always knew that at some point it was going to become unpleasant going to bed with two bottles of cheap Bulgarian red swishing about inside me. So I took care of my progressively aging body by treating it like a Majestic temple – with each birthday came another 50p on the bottle price, another few minutes of consideration of the label and a few hundred feet more of prime vineyard slope in the mix. My plan was to hit 40 with a couple of bottles of fine vintage coursing gently around my extremities – surely no damage can be done if you take these things seriously?
Good plan, badly executed. It seems that while the body grows older, so does the mind, and it forgets to remember the rules. Not every night, I’m not crying out for help. But the point is, when it does happen, I can’t stick to the ‘one good bottle and we’re off home’ rule. It becomes a ‘fridge, wine rack, beaker, bottle, whatever’ kind of rule.
But it’s not feeling so much fun anymore, and the aftermath is horrible. And now it turns out I have to present, and be seriously presentable. I think it’s time for a change of habit, a straighter road, a clearer intention, and maybe a new top.