The moment that I’ve come to dread happened to me for the second time in my career last weekend.
My company took part in an investor show on Saturday – we had a nice little booth, some interesting demos and a speaking slot. It wasn’t ideal timing as it was Little E’s second birthday but these things happen and I’d spoken to my CEO who agreed that the moment he finished giving his speech I’d leg it home and would be back in time to spend a good few hours eating mushy birthday cake and building Lego castles.
I arrived at the venue early doors, set up the stand and for the next few hours happily spoke to interested people about our company and why it’s a good investment proposition.
The time for my CEO’s speech was drawing closer and closer but there was still no sign of him. With half an hour to go I got the dreaded phone call. Something personal had come up and he wasn’t going to be able to make it (to be fair – something important really did come up and it was very lucky he was in the right place at the right time to help out). However, I was going to have to do the speech. Gulp.
Now, I love 90 odd % of what I do, but public speaking definitely falls into the 10% that I’d happily throw into room 101. So with limited make-up, slightly unkempt hair and a bit of a shaky walk I made it to the podium. As I looked up, it was straight into the bright lights of the camera. Oh good. The organisers were filming it for posterity.
Happily I didn’t make too much of a pigs ear of it and left the room feeling that I might just live to fight another day.
In all the panic, I hadn’t even had time to go to the bathroom so that’s where I headed immediately after. When I looked into the mirror I noticed that E had left me a little present of birthday snot on my neck. Lovely. I have no idea if it comes out on camera, and I never will, as I have absolutely no intention of watching the recording!