Presenting yourself

By God’s Grace, I have been able to get along with presentations quite successfully. Since I first started giving them at college (PICS, now UCP), I have been on the top of this game. So much so that during college, I actually intended to write a book titled presenting for your college courses. And for good reason: my friends were placing ‘bids’ on me to join their presentation group — ‘one baryaani, one coke and three cigarettes’ was my going rate :P. Let’s just say that I have been at the winning side of the bidding wars ๐Ÿ˜›

But that was not all. Because I had started off as a copywriter at a now-established ad agency and was giving presentations that won nothing but acclaim. By God’s Grace. Even when I had left the agency (while still at college), the owner would call me up to set up presentations and go over ideas.

After college, I was once involved in tailoring a business idea and presenting it to one of the Secretariats for approval by the Punjab government. By God’s Grace, that went so well that the then-secretary – after openly praising the presentation and the business idea – instructed his officers to ‘copy’ me. I have this little incident mentioned in my CV/profile that is used for business consultancies gigs (which are very rare, I must confess).

I once – after three years out of college and practically zero corporate/job experience – just to see if I can still make it in the ‘job world’, applied at a Lahore based management consultancy firm operating in US with clients like Boeing and Virgin. Their foremost requirement was thatย the applicant be a LUMS MBA graduate. I am a BCs from PICS. I applied anyways, making a CV as a challenge. I went through seven interviews, with the Director flying in from the US to have the final interview. I asked 50 % more than what they offered me as pay and they showed me the door. Happily.

Now why am I saying all of this?

Impossible is nothing, that’s why. Too many people are making too many excuses that after sometime start sounding like actual reasons. ‘This is how it is done’ is the number one reason you bribe your way into this country and not because the work will not be done without bribing. ‘I am built this way’ is why you are what you are and not because you can not do what you are not doing. Confusing? Possibly.

I am essentially an introvert. But you, my friends, will probably never find it out. I am happiest left alone on my computer with a good connection. My legs still shake when I address a group larger than 5 people.ย I am shit scared of public speech. I am even more scared of heights although I hurled myself off of the Zambezi River bridge with just a bungee chord tied to my feet.

Built for this?

But I love doing all things that I am not ‘built for’. There is no such thing as ‘I am built this way’. Yes, I love it. I love public speech, I love meeting people, I love reading, I love my work.ย By God’s Grace.ย But only when I get it right. And here’s the kicker – normally, I don’t.

I do not have a business background. In fact, my Mother – the best one could ever ask for – is still convinced that our family is not ‘built’ for business. It doesn’t help that we have tons of relatives who tried and failed at starting and setting up a business. But guess what other people say when asked as to what I do? I am – as per definition – a businessman.

I had active participation in practically all aspects of co-curricular activities at college, because I just loved the ‘rush’. I have about 17 awards and trophies to show for it.ย ย But I was hardly good at it.ย I have been laughed at while debating, I have been ‘clapped off’ stage, I once froze during a debate at an all-girls college and muttered something into the mic and amidst boos and whistles made my way back to the seating area.

Once, I was told that I will not succeed at business because ‘tum bauhat saaday ho‘ (you are too simple). A business partner once casually remarked that I had the most pathetic accounting skills and probably his 5 year old son could do better.

My theatres teacher once showed horrid amazement when her director told her that I was selected to play the lead part of Romeo in the college drama. She sighed and was relieved when she was told that it was a comedy play, remarking, ‘no wonder, then you are OK for the Romeo role.’

I fail 9 out of 10 times. Sometimes more.

But as I type this, I am – by God’s Grace – where I wanted to be. For better. Not worse. Not because I played my cards well, but because God’s Grace intervened in my plans and made them actually work. The ones that have worked are the ones that I had planned differently. Normally people call this ‘luck’, the one ingredient found in all – and I mean ‘all’ – of the autobiographies of successful people. But this is not luck. There is no such thing as luck, of course. It is called God’s Grace if you are wondering.

I have thought of giving up many a times, but I keep reminding myself: there is no such thing as failure, only results.ย So yeah, I am where I want to be.

Are you?

The three important questions to ask here are,

  1. “What is stopping you from doing what you want to do?”
  2. “What is stopping you from doing what you want to do?”
  3. “What is stopping you from doing what you want to do?”

Don’t do it if it interferes with what God wants you to do. Everything else is negotiable.

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I believe that there is a better way of living our lives, where work is not boring, where I have the time to spend with my family, my friends, my communities. A life that I look forward to living, a life of adventure. You in?

12 thoughts on “Presenting yourself”

  1. And here i came thinking you’d give some good pointers on presentations ๐Ÿ˜›

    Check out Guy Kawasaki – I’ve incorporated some of his ideas into my presentations lately and have had great success at this.

    1. And that is part of the reason I did not give any presentation points ๐Ÿ™‚ …
      But yea, he is good. Can you give me a link here as to where one can find the points given by Kawasaki?

  2. I was busy on Tuesday ๐Ÿ˜›

    On a serious note, I know many average people(with basic education) doing amazing things because they know how to speak and CONNECT.

    Who cares if you have a degree from THIS & THAT school?

    If knocking on the door gives you nothing, build a new door ๐Ÿ™‚

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