And I survived. One of the longest presentations ever. 4 hrs with a 15 minute break in the middle. The last hour taking questions.
Was croaking at first. Seriously. That always happens to me when I first start speaking in public. My voice gives out on me. I could see people looking at each other, silently asking each other if they could hear anything. But that passed. The only thing that gets me through moments like this is experience. Remembering similar moments in the past & how I survived them helps me to suppress my fight or flight response.
Nothing went wrong during the demo. The system worked fine. The challenge was to present it properly, to explain each feature & the problem it solves, to make it all seem simple enough for all their staff to use without oversimplifying to the point that the client becomes oblivious to the amount of work that went into the system. That's something my manager often accuses me of. Making our systems sound so easy to use that the client fails to see the complexity of the logic that is used to make life so simple for the user, that the client might start to wonder why he/she is paying so much money for something that looks like it was a piece of cake & why they had to wait so long for it. So I tried to avoid the see-how-easy-this-is approach.
Anyway don't want to think about it anymore. After the visitors left, my manager called me into his office to thank me. I also got an email - all about how much he appreciates our efforts etc....And of course after that it was my turn to give the same pep talk to the rest of the team. I wanted to hug them all for coming through for me. I know the crazy hours they've all been working. Afterwards I put it in writing for them too. Tomorrow am bringing a huge home-made chocolate cake to the office.
Went out with some friends after work. But I couldn't eat anything. Was still too high on adrenalin. So I had tea & sheesha. The conversation was mostly about the World Cup. When everyone left to go back to work I felt truly lucky to be the only one who was done for the day. I hate this split shift stuff.
Was still too restless to go home so I went for a drive. Then D. called & asked where I was going next so I told her I wanted to drop by the Co-op to pick up the ingredients for the cake. She said she'll meet me there. We finished shopping & she came over with me. I made some strawberry juice. She'd already had lunch & I still couldn't face food & I had found the loveliest strawberries in the Co-op. Have got a thing about strawberries. Strawberry is even my favorite sheesha flavor.
Now am in bed with my laptop - completely worn out. Ordered Burger King. Am going to pig out on burgers & milkshake in bed. Then am going to sleep. Didn't cook dinner. And decided I'll stay up later tonight to do the cake.