It was to be my first presentation at my new gig and I was NERVOUS. I tend to be a good presenter and I want to be known at my new job as an awesome one. The good news was that the audience shouldn’t have been too scary … just about 80 biz school students.
I was also nervous because I had to adapt another’s presentation and make it my own. And no matter how much I added of my own content and language, it still wasn’t material that was entirely mine and, therefore, not something I was totally comfortable with.
So around 7ish the night before my pres and I had two options: 1. continue to practice until I nailed it 100% or 2. run to a nail salon before it closes to get my nails looking kick-ass for the next day’s event.
While I had a great outfit picked out for presentation that should have sufficed, and I was sure most people wouldn’t have noticed my nails, I still felt that I needed that extra touch. Needless to say, I abandoned my plans for another run through and swept into the salon before closing time to get a really dark lacquer job on my nails.
Could I have used that extra run through? Well, I ended up having a bit of a shaky start to my presentation which an extra run through may have prevented. Still, I think the psychological lift I had knowing that I looked fierce all-around helped me recover quickly from the uneasy start and allow me to give a pretty good pres in the end. (In fact the professor invited me to come to the school to re-present to I guess it wasn’t too bad.)
Moral of the story? Always work your hardest to get the content right but never sacrifice the seemingly little things that elevate your spirit and confidence. Because no matter how much practice you have, shit can happen and confidence becomes your biggest asset. So getting your nails done, getting a blow out or buying some fresh lipstick may feel like a distraction from what’s really necessary. But in actuality, they are EXACTLY what’s necessary to make us successful.