It may surprise you to discover that I am a member of the W.I. and if you are not from the UK you probably have no idea what the W.I is
It’s the Women’s Institute set up 100 years ago initially to help women in isolated rural communities. It is now well regarded (even the Queen is a member) and lobbies Parliament on various issues
But it’s not all Jam and Jerusalem as I found out last Wednesday when I went on a gliding experience with them from the top of Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire (The now famous Tour de Yorkshire had a Man of the Mountain competition there last May) It’s a 1000 feet high and very steep
I’m not telling you this to show off but to explain how it made me feel
It was (only a little bit) scary but mainly exciting and exhilarating…particularly the part when the glider (with no engine) was towed by a line attached to a small plane off the top of the bank and then climbed another 2000 feet before the line was released
I was in the front of the glider with Brian a very experienced pilot in the rear so I had an amazing view of nearly the whole of Yorkshire spread out 3000 feet below me. Brian was great fun and when he discovered that I really loved it we did some great turns and dips whilst chasing the dark clouds for lift. He even let me have a go with the joy stick for a while until saying “I’ll take it from here”
We had a perfect landing about 25 minutes later. I had pushed my comfort zone and I had a great feeling of achievement
Reflecting on it afterwards I thought that it was very much like giving a really important presentation (a 10 out of 10 one).
There was a slight feeling of apprehension beforehand along with an adrenalin boost when we actually took off followed by feelings of excitement and exhilaration. If you want to inspire and impress your audience then you need to be excited about what you are talking about and that will come over in your presentation as manner always wins over matter
We had planned it in advance and I had advice and a lot of support from the lovely Brian. When giving a presentation it’s crucial to plan and to get advice from someone who has done it before and knows what they are doing. It definitely makes it much less scary and much more effective
We also had help from the small plane that towed us off the bank. We couldn’t have done it without their help. Presenting is not just about doing it all yourself. Get advice and support from your colleagues. Rehearse in front of them and get feedback. This is something we every much encourage at The Confident Club particularly if they know what they are talking about
And finally……enjoy it. Look forward to the feeling of achievement when you have really pushed your comfort zone and gone for it
So my recommendation….. have a go at gliding ( or something you are a little apprehensive about). You will really enjoy it.