Next Time We’re Doing a Craft

Have you ever done something then found yourself sort of stuck in self doubt?

Yeah, that’s me. I’ve spent the last few days swimming in that uphill current called “I wish I would have done that differently.”

A couple months ago a friend asked me to give a talk at the library she works at. I was honored and said yes. It was scheduled for Thursday July 7.

For two months I have contemplated my subject matter. Would I talk about this or that? 

I had a general idea, but never could get quite settled on it. Two days before the 7th, the subject I had picked out suddenly didn’t feel right. 

I panicked. My husband is very knowledgable and experienced in giving presentations, so I asked him about it. I even took notes. 

His suggestions were amazing.

  • Write an outline
  • List your goals
  • Ask audience their goals- what they’d like to get out of it
  • Write their goals on the board so you can cover them as well
  • Use Power Point or a visual to help keep yourself on track
  • Have a question session at end and pass out index cards so audience can anonymously ask their questions
  • Thank them for their time because time is something everyone is short on and no one can get back.

Great advice. I spent two days trying to come up with my outline. Finally settling on a subject matter, I got my outline pages done. I rehearsed what I’d say during the one hour drive to the library on Thursday.

Oh my lands. I was soooooooooo nervous. Let’s just say, everything I learned from my husband went out the window. Oh, I talked. Like wayyyy too much. 

How does that even happen? I talked about stuff I haven’t even thought about in a year! Who wants to go to a seminar and hear someone talk about themselves the entire time? 

I walked out of there with my stomach in a knot and a “did I really just do that?” plastered in my mind. 

All the way home, I replayed it. Did I do anything right? Oops, I didn’t tell them my goals. I totally forgot to ask theirs. I sort of stayed on topic except for several times and for like 20 minutes…

When I got home my friends asked how it went. One word: disaster. They said it couldn’t be that bad. Hmmm…. Nope, pretty sure disaster sums it up quite well. 

Lucky for me, the gals that came were beyond fabulous! They listened, were engaging, and asked questions. (If you’re reading, from the bottom of my heart, thank you ladies. Your kindness is a saving grace.)

The lessons learned? Changing the subject right beforehand isn’t the best idea, nervous chatter doesn’t ever actually end, and if I ever get invited back, forget the talking! Next time we’re doing a craft! 

29 thoughts on “Next Time We’re Doing a Craft

  1. I’m with Karen. Bring on the Rolos, or some jaffas next time! :)
    But seriously Jess, good on you for that. I admire your courage and I bet you did way better than you thought. With your bubbly enthusiasm how could they not love you? :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also am betting that it went better than you thought. If they listened, were engaging, and asked questions something went right. Dead silence, side conversation, checking cell phones, etc. are signs that an audience isn’t enjoying a presentation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sheryl. I hadn’t thought of the dead silence, etc. That makes me feel better. They were amazing women. All ages and very sweet. I owe each of them big hugs. It was a library in a really small town and they all knew each other. They were extremely kind.

      I think my subject was decent, I just got way off course a few times. I feel like I just talked about myself wayyyy too much. Ha! :) Thanks for your nice comments.


  3. Don’t assume it was all bad. :) I agree with those who’ve commented already. I’m sure you were doing a good job. Sure, you just think about what else you could have done and what could’ve been better – but that doesn’t mean you weren’t good. Considering that the ladies who came to hear you speak were listening and asking questions, it sounds like everyone was interested and everyone had a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I stepped out of somethin’! Ha. :) Really, there were several pluses. I learned some things and got to spend an hour with truly amazing ladies. They were so kind. THEY were the best part of it.

      I’d love to hear you talk! Especially about rural Kansas. I bet you’d be really great!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you can say, “They listened, were engaging, and asked questions,” I’ll bet your audience did not know you changed your plan. I would only suggest one thing: next time, bring the Rolos and pass them out at the beginning. With a stunt like that, they won’t know what hit them and you’ll be friends for life. ;)

    Liked by 2 people

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