The shot at the wide-open net was missed. The baton handed to the 4th runner in the lead was dropped. The near field goal attempt to win the game struck the goal post. The clutch moment passed to me was botched.
Tonight my team was part of a panel discussion on healthcare and technology with about 30-40 people in attendance. Joined by a doctor and a vetted medical entrepreneur and moderated by an accomplished healthcare consultant, the conversation was engaging and evoking visions of what “Health 2.0” may look like.
Up until nearly the end, I had done a fairly decent job sitting back on stage, enjoying my team members dropping knowledge. When the panel opened up for questions from the audience, someone asked about what exactly our team did, as we had not divulged much information on our team’s project(s). After a quick response by one of my partners with a lead into a complicated project we’re undertaking, let’s just say the microphone was handed to me in an impromptu manner to speak on the matter. Well that had adverse effects. Frankly, I froze, then as I looked out into the crowd, I stumbled through an awful choice of words. Finally at a complete loss for words and feeling quite embarrassed, I got rid of the mic as fast as I could.
There are a slew of elements that contributed to my not so great performance (e.g. caught-off-guard, unprepared, unrehearsed, complicated-topic, intimidated, nervousness, etc). It was a very anticlimactic moment for myself as this is a project I am passionate about. And of course, almost immediately as it was over the thoughts came pouring in and my response started formulating. But the opportunity was gone. The crowd had moved on. The shot had been missed.
I’m definitely an advocate of the “win or learn, never lose” philosophy so I’ll chalk this experience up as a learning moment. I can deal with that. Being that articulating words verbally hasn’t been an excelling quality of mine, hence the failed impromptu response, I know what I have to work on.
In the end, my team performed well overall, the audience didn’t throw stones or tomatoes at me and I got vulnerable.
Have you ever had one of those clutch moments where you underperformed? Tell me about it. Get vulnerable with me 😉