Another milestone reached…successfully

For the past three days I have been presenting ‘stand up’ training for a group of clients… essentially lecturing for 7 hours a day, for those three days. And I am overjoyed to report that the trainee feedback forms made absolutely no mention of any issues with my voice, my diction, or anything negative that might be associated with the fallout from my cancer battle. And these folks were workmates of a group who, the week before, complained long and loud about the diction and accents of my two teammates’ presentation. Not significant, you say? One of the forms actually said that the instructor (me) ‘spoke clearly’. Some of them were aware of the problems from the previous session. But about me, they were very complimentary.

Well, I did have one guy mention that he thought I was a little nervous… I suspect that my body language is a little skewed because of my shoulder… but even that is nearly back to normal. I did catch myself clasping my hands in front of me, rather than crossing my arms, which would be the more comfortable stance. I’ll rationalize that one away by suggesting that I am aware that crossing one’s arms is a signal of defiance and being closed to input and discussion. I would prefer to think that I am trying to remain ‘open’ to my students… but looking nervous? Damn. I’ll have to work on that…

During the three days I did feel at times like I was slightly slurring my words, and my mouth, particularly my lips, got very dry at points. But no one had to ask me to repeat anything.

I think that my immediate supervisor has breathed a sigh of relief as well… he called at the end of the first day to ask how it went. The relief was evident in his voice; he even commented that he was confident in my assurances that it went well because my voice sounded so good over the phone. You know, I’ve had this feeling that he was delaying assigning the training to me, taking it on himself when he really didn’t have the time, prepping the other team members to deliver the training because he wasn’t sure I would ever be up to it…

Wow. I’m sure glad that I made it through without any ill effects. Now that I have proven I can actually do it, I will start concentrating on the curriculum and adding my own spin to the presentation. It (the curriculum) was tuned up while I was away, but even still I am not totally comfortable with what it is. We do license it from a third party, so I will have to be a little bit careful with what I do to it. My ‘national roadshow’ doesn’t get started in earnest until late April, so I do have plenty of time. Although, there is a really strong possibility that I will be going to Washington, DC at the beginning of April to do some training for a group within our American practice that is supporting one of our major American clients.

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