I have recently finished crafting a slideshow, and writing a talk to go with it, that is the best one I have ever done, probably by a mile. I spent hundreds of hours this year watching talks on YouTube (both good and bad ones), watching instructional videos on speaking and on creating effective visual presentations, and trying new slide design techniques (and throwing out all the things I tried that didn’t work). I tried really hard to push myself out of my PowerPoint design rut. I thought I was good at presenting before, but now I think I have really leveled up. I have internalized a lot of the lessons I learned this year.

The most visually impressive, most engaging, most well written talk that I have ever created is due to my bosses tomorrow. It is complete. It would make for a great 80 minute talk. But it has to be cut, and maybe cut down by half. It was momentarily agonizing to learn this today, but I am trying to think positively about it, because I have learned the right way to cut (iteratively, though rehearsals and timing of sections) and I know how to not cut the meat out of the presentation (because I wrote down the main idea of each section, so it wouldn’t get lost in an edit). I can do it. I just wish I didn’t have to.

No matter what, though, I’m going to be proud of what I built, and I’m going to seek out more opportunities to present in the future. I am good at it. I put in the work to be even better at it. And maybe with enough practice I can be great at it.