The ongoing blog of the Tomchak family, in Wheaton IL USA

Facing Your Fear Head On

By on February 9, 2009 in Text Post, Web Link with 0 Comments


Probably the greatest fear I’ve had for as long as I can remember is speaking to a group of people (large or small). Just being that center of attention with all eyes on you has always caused me very deep discomfort. In fact, when I had speech class in high school I would actually skip class on the days that I was supposed to speak. No surprise, I failed the class.

However, I’ve also wanted to start teaching – either one-on-one or maybe at a local college, and being afraid to talk to people does not go well with that goal. So early last year I decided I would at least make an attempt to get past the fear enough to do a single presentation. After that I could decide if I wanted to pursue it or not.

So last November I was scheduled to do a presentation to a group of editors that are part of the Chicago Final Cut Pro User Group , but due to a scheduling mixup I got bumped until January of this year. The presentation was on two things. First, how to find creative inspiration when you have no idea what you want to create, and second to break down of a project I did last year to show how I used the inspiration of a movie open to influence my own project.

Because of the help of my colleague and friend Jeff Carrion, I was able to refine my skills during a rehearsal at the office. Jeff gave me great feedback and what he liked and where he thought I should make changes. And with the help of my good friend Noeleen McGrath, who is herself a media coach, I was able to get feedback both before and after the presentation on how I can improve. She provided me a detailed list after the presentation with very specific things I need to work on. I feel very luck to have somebody like her available to help me out.

The result? For a first time out, I did pretty good. There are plenty of things I want to change for next time, but I did what I set out to do, which is to do my first presentation. The feedback I’ve received from people at the meeting has been good, and I would day there’s a good chance I’ll do more in the future for other groups as well.

If you would like to see the presentation, you can find it on my professional blog

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