29 Days: Flexibility Version 

Today I had to be on the main stage at my company’s sales conference. It was a panel of cross-functional leaders. We were supposed to talk about how our organization helps the sales organization to meet their objectives and those of the company. Could be fairly boring if we let it. Instead, the team turned it into The Dating Game, with a salesman as the bachelor and five leaders as date hopefuls. 

I had been really nervous about this. Being on a giant video screen in front of the entire company, answering questions about how I and my team make it easier for sales? No thanks, not my thing. But being a chicken isn’t an option for a head of department. So I rehearsed repeatedly in my head what I thought were the three key takeaways I wanted to give them. I tried out dozens of fun and hopefully funny comebacks and snarky comments that all sounded idiotic in my head. Finally, I was out of time. It was time to go onstage. 

Luckily, I had no doubts about the substance of my messages. It was the delivery I feared to screw up. So, when the four panelists ahead of me had paved the way with wit and charm, I was calmer than I expected when the question came. 

It was a silly double entendre about being flexible and giving what he needed. I snarked back about not being a contortionist and having a better idea of what he’d like and need. It got some laughs and eased my anxiety, allowing me to give my pitch as I’d planned it. Afterward, I received many compliments about my humor and poise. Whew!

So, I survived the main stage and made people laugh. That is one very good thing about today. 

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