Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Presentations :(

I was going to write a post about having gone to see my family this weekend, which is the main reason I haven't answered any comments, and I'm sorry for that (I didn't want to leave my blog's address in the family computer). However, I'm going to interrupt the normal ramblings of this blog to report on the current crisis:

The company I've been collaborating with has just told me that they are expecting me to give a joint presentation at the European Space Agency on the software I was working on a while back. When I mentioned to my boss here that I didn't know I had to, and that I really didn't want to do it, the opted for the joking way out, saying "oh, don't panic, it'll only be representing the company in front of investors, just people at ESA who know what they are doing, no pressure". While that might work for other people, it doesn't for me, although I don't think he knows that. People around me are trying to make me feel better, telling me that they don't like presentations either, but I don't think they mean it the way I do.

I don't want to give a presentation, I'm not sure I can. Just knowing about it now has accelerated my entire body, and the panic will only increase as the date gets closer. I don't want to stop sleeping and eating a couple of days before the presentation because I am too anxious and my body refuses to rest or get any food. Having to do this will affect all my work output in other areas, make my home life more tense, and possibly making me physically ill on the presentation day.

I have finally emailed the other company back asking them what is the extent of my contribution, and hopefully they will answer back saying that none. I need to hold on to the thought that things end up better than I fear.

Edit: And I posted this too early, so now the title is messed up :( Things like that upset me.


  1. Oh craplets! Okay, with what little I know about you so far, I do see why this is a problem for you.

    In the world that I am familiar with, there is usually someone in between the programmers and the rest of the world, who has the job of interacting with the clients, representing the company, reporting to upper management, etc. It sounds like that's what you need. (My mother used to be this person!)

    I don't know how open you are with your boss about your anxiety, can you speak with him about this and explain it further so he understands how serious it is?

    Another thought - perhaps you can arrange with your contact at the other company for you to just create and supply the materials (charts, reports, etc) for the presentation, and that person will do all the talking?

    Fingers crossed for you - let me know how it goes.

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Kath. I am feeling a lot better about it today. I still don't want to do it, but it's not making me panic as much, and I'm thinking that maybe I can.
    Going home always makes me really tired, and things just look a lot worse than they really are.

    I only did the testing for this software, so I'm thinking that at most I'd have to talk for about 5 minutes and a couple of presentation slides.
    I have managers to do the fluffy talking, and relate to the clients, but this would be a technical presentation. It would actually be really funny to see my boss trying to explain what I've been doing.

    I am now controlling the anxiety fine, and waiting until I get confirmation of what I actually need to do, as they are not clear yet. At least I know where the nice yarn shops are where I'll be giving the presentation, so maybe I'll have a bit of extra time to go shopping!