The Pressure and the Praise

After giving 20+ presentations over the last two years, my heart still races each time I step onto the platform. Many other aspects of the job have gotten much easier for me as I’ve learned to streamline my preparation, but I don’t believe the butterflies will ever fly away for good.

Every time I finish my notes, transfer my video and PowerPoint to the usb, and put on my fancy shoes I’m struck by what a strange thing it is that I do. See, I’m not a highly trained inspirational speaker. I’m really not a highly trained anything. I’m not an expert, and I don’t exude charisma. I’m an introvert who just so happens to have a story.

I will always work. I will always push myself to be better. I will always think and pray about what God wants me to say to this very unique group of people… But the real pressure is not on my shoulders. The pressure is on God, and the story that He’s writing in/with me. Either what He’s done for me is an inspiration, or it is not. The fanciest presentation is no replacement for a story that changes you.

And so, I can relax. I can just do my best and let God fill in the places where I’m deficient. I can just say what I know, what God has given me, and trust that He will use it.

Even as I step up to a microphone, lights glaring, hundreds of eyes on me, the pressure to entertain, encourage, inspire is not mine to bear. Thank goodness… I would crumple under that weight!

I can remember that the pressure (and the praise) is all His.


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