As I prepare for our class presentations, I can’t help but feel a bit anxious. It is not common for me to experience feelings of nervousness or anxiety before presenting to a class or speaking in public. Giving presentations has always been something with which I feel very comfortable. Having recently completed school (where in class presentations are all too common) and working in a college admissions office (which required me to give 45 minute presentations to prospective students almost daily), I’ve grown comfortable with speaking in front of others. So why am I so nervous for this presentation? As I tried to identify the exact cause of my nervousness, we discussed in class the importance of confidence in teaching an online course.
Do I lack confidence? I’m extremely comfortable with the subject matter. I’ve been working with the system I will be training on for about year. I helped to develop the training guide that is distributed to our associates, giving the exact step-by-steps instructions to navigate the system. I was a member of the team that implemented system improvements to make the system more user-friendly. I was able to rule out that my anxiety was causes by lack of knowledge surrounding content.
As Kiki had us play around in the system- draw on the whiteboard, add clip art….I realized my fear comes from a lack of experience with the training tool. Although I have conducted online training, I did not utilize any breakout rooms, whiteboards, drawings, clip art, etc. Basically, the tool was utilized to share screens with the participants to guide them through our system. The training was lecture style. We gave a short presentation on a particular topic followed by system training. For example, we trained our team managers on the importance of performance appraisals and then demonstrated how to use performance management tool. The participants were only asked to participate during a question and answer session.
My anxiety comes from my lack of experience with the technology. What would happen if the tools fail me? The screen share stops working, I can’t use the breakout rooms correctly, audio or video cuts outs? However, the use of this great technology can be extremely beneficial to improve our trainings. For example, it will be extremely helpful to understand the experience of each of the manager we were training. We can encourage feedback and participation from our trainees to better tailor the trainings to the needs of the group. We have the ability to create breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, use polls to quickly survey the call on experience, past usage, team size, etc.
The lesson here: get confident! My confidence will come from practice using the tool. Once you gain the confidence in the tool and subject matter, you can concentrate on engaging the class.