I am not a big fan of speaking in front of a crowd, in fact I have always found it quite nerve-racking.
The rational side of me is well aware of the fact that the anxiety before a big presentation is never proportional to the actual danger itself. I mean, what’s the worst thing that can happen? However, the less rational part of me can think of nothing worse than standing in front of a crowd, feeling completely exposed and vulnerable. Heart racing, legs shaking, voice trembling and cheeks blushing.
This anxiety actually made me hesitate before applying for a position within the Lantmännen trainee program. I knew that being a trainee would involve numerous occasions where I would be put to the test of having to present myself, or my work, in front of some type of audience. Was I really up for it? And more importantly, would I be able to deliver? Luckily, I decided not to let this fear determine my future and I applied for the job.
I remember a year back when I first met my fellow trainees during the introduction week in Lidingö. We had our first gathering and were given the task to answer a few questions about ourselves and our future, and then present this to each other. A quite harmless exercise with the sole purpose of us getting to know each other a bit better. To me it was scary, however no one else seemed nervous.
As expected, this was just the beginning. Since then I have held many presentations in different settings, in front of varying audiences. I have learned a lot in the process and nowadays I feel much more safe when I enter the stage. The highlight was the presentation I held together with the other trainees on September 4th at the head office in Stockholm. The purpose was to present our strategic group assignments. A total of about 50 people from across Lantmännen had come to listen, including our CEO Per Olof Nyman. As you can imagine we were all nervous. Fortunately, the response we got was encouraging and the questions and discussions that followed each presentation were rewarding.
The trainee group after the presentation on the 4th of September
(unfortunately Elin could not attend since she is in Chicago for her fourth placement)
I still get nervous and insecure before a big presentation, but nothing I can’t handle. Practice is key and really the only way of letting the rational side of you take control of the situation. Nowadays, I can even enjoy taking on the role of the presenter. So, to sum up – don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, you never regret it!