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Monday, 21 November 2016 01:39

I had an important presentation today. But I screwed up the first few minutes. How can I let that go out of my mind?

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Each Time We Face Our FearI screwed up with the initial few slides and stuttered a lot. Though I felt that the rest of the presentation went good. I can't seem to keep the blunder out of my mind. The organizers said that the presentation was good. I feel otherwise. What should I do?    


There seems to be several interdependent issues at play here.

Firstly, the presentation was important to you, by your own words. This tends to put pressure on you and can magnify the intensity of your self-critique. We’re not always the best evaluator when evaluating ourselves.

Your question doesn’t provide whether this is your first ever presentation, at least one that is important to you.

You say you screwed up in the beginning, stuttering a lot. Your question also doesn’t provide whether you stutter a lot in everyday communication, or if you were stuttering in the beginning of your presentation due to nervous tension.

You don’t mention that the stuttering continued through to the end. It would seem as your confidence increased, perhaps your nervousness and subsequent stuttering reduced. If that is true, then it would indicate that nervousness plays an important part in your stuttering and that there is a good chance that as your self-confidence increases, you will be able to reduce or completely extinguish your stuttering.

If you had problems with the beginning of your presentation, perhaps this might be an area to focus on for improvement. Starting a presentation is challenging. You have to grab the audience’s attention from the get-go and almost instantaneously convince them that you have something important for them to watch and listen to.

The opening is also where you have to show the most courage. The focus in on you. Its live! That courage and a strong start can give you the momentum to move forward in the rest of your presentation.

The main gist of your question seems to be the ‘how do I get it out of my mind?’ There is an old saying that if you get thrown from a horse, get back in the saddle again as soon as possible. This adage applies to many things in life. So, my suggestion is to start working on your next presentation. Its hard to focus on two separate and different things at the same time.

This past week I was preparing for two separate and completely different presentations. It was challenging keeping things straight i.e. which content and comments went with which presentation.

Another reality is that too many people spend their time reviewing went wrong in their life, rather than what actually worked well. You can’t change the past. Nobody can! However, you can change your future and how you respond to things that don’t work as well as they should. It can be very helpful to focus on your strengths and strengthen them even more. As your self-confidence and speaking ability increases, the problem with stuttering will likely decrease. I’ve seen it happen many times.

I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that you check out Toastmasters to see if there is a local club. That is the place to work out all of the bugs when it comes to delivering presentations. You would be able to practice your presentation and receive feedback at the club before you deliver your presentation live. I’ve done it lots of times.

Thanks for your question. Good luck with your next presentation!

... as originally answered on

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Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANEI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic. He is a long-time member of Kelowna Flying Solo Toastmasters and is the driving force behind its long-term success. 

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


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Copyright 2015 & 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com

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