July 17, 2007

Who is forbidden from attending your presentations?

I'll speak in front of any group of any size. I'll present with glee about the most uncomfortable subject matter (anyone care to deliver a fifth grade puberty program to parents of prospective students?) and I'll even show up with a raging fever and a bottle full of echinacea if you can't find a replacement for me.

But please don't ask me to speak in front of a group that includes my husband or closest friends. I'll do it (and I've done it), but I won't like it.

I don't fear the criticism of strangers anywhere near as much as I dread the judgement of those closest to me. They know me better than anyone. They know every quirk and they've heard every story.

They most certainly will note every flaw and mistake, which an audience of strangers would never detect. Furthermore, they won't have any problem reporting back every one of them!

Yes, they could give me great feedback that I could learn from. And they have! But I'd still rather cringe through watching videotape of myself than ask someone close to me to critique my performance - in person, anyway. I really don't mind showing my video after the fact. As long as they're not in the room to mess with my head during the live presentation.

It's irrational, I know. And for someone with years of experience, who's handled every kind of audience and situation, it almost makes no sense. But we all have our "issues," don't we?

Who are your "forbidden" audience members?

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Alexson said...

Great post, Lisa! I am in the same boat. Speaking is much easier when you can distance yourself and just play the expert. If my best friend was in the audience, she would be able to tell that a question caught me off guard and I was flying by the seat of my pants. That is un-nerving!


Lisa Braithwaite said...

You've explained it perfectly. Our best friends are our most supportive but also know too much about us!

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