Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Highs and Lows

Last week I did a big presentation for a prospect in Boston. The meeting involved a lot of preparation, and I was presenting with people who are very senior, who have been at my company a long time, and who are tough critics.

It wasn't perfect, but I did very well. And I got good feedback from people both internally and at the prospect.

This meeting had taken weeks to put together. It had involved lots of conversations to design and get feedback on an agenda, and coordination across several people to help pull together and edit the Powerpoint slides. There was frustration in getting everyone on the same page, but there was a lot of teamwork, too.

And the meeting came off, about as well as we could have hoped.

It is always good to hear that things went well. But I was noticing that while hearing those things felt good, that was not what I was reacting to. In the afterglow of the presentation, as I was talking with someone about how things had gone, I realized that I was reacting to adrenaline. Pure and simple. It was the adrenaline rush that felt best of all--not the things that were said.

I love learning new things and taking on new challenges. I love roller coasters and other scary rides. And while I used to be scared to death of speaking in public, I now love that, too. Doing a big presentation has become my equivalent of skydiving or bungee jumping or walking a tightrope. Getting across without falling feels very, very good.

Is this an addiction? Is this a bad thing? I don't know. But that day was the first time that it hit me with such utter obviousness.


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