I am coming to believe that I have at least three modes of public interaction – (1) I call this my “normal” self, interacting with friends and acquaintances, not really easygoing but also not stilted, (2) my private mode, where I reserve my time and effort to a special group of family and friends (you know who you are!); this is about as natural as it gets for me (3) my presentation mode – I’m all about getting the point across and I’m all charm and confidence – but it’s a facade as I like to make my point by action rather than words.
In addition there are other phases I’ve had, not to long ago, but they’ve not occurred frequently enough to be a part of my character or a mode – irrational one, and the scariest – nihilist mode.
I got thinking about this because I was asked to present at a brown bag about introducing systematic reviews to my colleagues. It was scheduled many moons ago..er.. At least one moon ago. And systematic reviews are something I like to think I’m an expert on, having worked in the field upwards of 5 years.
The presentation was today at noon, and till 5 am, I had not started on my presentation. The procrastination was born of confidence as I’ve been making three presentation for many many moons now and I have a deck of hundreds, of slides for this very purpose. Another idiosyncrasy of mine is that I like to visualize all my presentations in mind before I make them – including platform (PowerPoint or not), delivery (only speaking or a mix of speaking and doing), interactive or not (iClickers are a useful tool to get the audience involved), humor (or not). If it’s a subject that I’m very familiar with, I think I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the kind of humor I’ll use in my talk! In short, I’ve been thinking about this presentation for a few days. But I did not have a presentation!
I got into presentation mode at 5 am and my presentation was born at 7. I got to normal mode till 11.30, and then back into presentation mode. Looking at myself from outside, I couldn’t reconcile the confident smiling public speaker with the nervousness I felt in my inner self. I would love to do a “beast” presentation mode sometime, when called out to do so, but the drawback of presentation mode is that it drains you. I’m envious of those who can do presentation mode as a default. My default preference is a private mode – a private person with a very public blog; that doesn’t matter because I know that my readers, all five of you, are in my private group anyway 🙂 .
What modes you got?