My very first French speaking engagement


Today, I overcame a personal challenge. I gave a presentation about my current project at work to a team of 21 people. It’s definitely not my first time to give one as I’m used to presenting in the past in many different forms – acting in front of class in high school, delivering a persuasive speech in comms class, defending our thesis, presenting here and there at work. I’ve even attended presentation skills workshops to build self-confidence and to learn about effective tips and techniques. So, what is different this time around? I was asked to deliver everything in French!

Fear of public speaking is just normal. I always feel the jitters every time I’m about to present something. Today is special. Double pressure. My left eye was already twitching involuntarily since yesterday and if I have one more cup of coffee, I’m on my way towards a nervous breakdown. So I ditched the café today.

It was a relatively short topic and not that difficult to understand at all. I only discussed 4 out of 7 slides as I shared the spot with a colleague. For me, I was more concerned about not being able to get my message across because of my limited speaking abilities.

For about 15 minutes, I was discussing the project. It was my longest, non-stop French-speaking engagement. I was looking at my iPhone from time to time as I have some notes there to remind me of the important things that I need to cover. Then, I accidentally activated Siri. Being the show-off that she is, she let the entire room know she’s not available because there’s no phone signal. At least, everyone had a good laugh and it helped me calm down.

It wasn’t perfect of course but overall, it went smoothly. I was told that I was very clear and it was well-understood which is my only intent. Such a relief! Now, I can start drinking coffee again tomorrow!

Anyway, I found some tips and techniques when giving presentations. Hope you find them useful:
18 Tips for Killer Presentations


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