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The Truth About Creating Presentations

Recently, Chrysty Sturdivant (NANT VP and Conference Co-Chair) and I spent several days together here in Cincinnati writing our opening keynote presentation for NANT 10. I wanted to share this picture with you because it shows the shiny, ‘social media’ side of that time.

My husband surprised us with Lion King tickets for her last night in town. However, it would be a disservice to you if we pretended that this kind of work was all about shiny moments.

This collage better captures the truth about creating a keynote presentation for hundreds of people that we respect and love like no other.

Why are we sharing this with you?

Because the world makes it look like results happen overnight, that quality can be quick, and that creativity is just ‘easy’ for some people – oh, and all while your clothing is perfectly trendy, your hair and make-up are on point, and your perfect family is supporting you. We are simply over that message. We care about your growth and confidence more than we care about mirroring the world’s version of perfection.

In order to empower you to engage in projects that advance your vision for the babies and families in your care, we believe it helps to know that:

  • No one has all the answers.
  • Some of the best ideas come when you’re ready to throw in the towel.
  • It’s ok to throw it all away and start over.
  • It’s normal to experience feelings of doubt and dread until you’re close to the end.
  • There is confusion and clutter in the middle that must be dissected and then curated for nuggets of gold. Expecting the confusion helps objectify it.
  • There is give and take between contributors, which makes the end result so much better.
  • It’s a process. We’re all in process. And it’s ok to be where you are.
  • There will be a light at the end of the tunnel, sooner or later, it will come.
  • Wearing slippers and sweats sometimes fuels creativity – promise.
  • Coffee helps. Healthy-ish food does too.
  • Laughing is necessary.
  • “It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” – Tom Hanks
  • Quality is never an accident.

Whether you’re working on a presentation, project, grant, research initiative, or important discussion in rounds, know that you’re surrounded by a community of friends and colleagues that wants to see you win.

Enjoy the real-ness of your imperfect adventure. Most of all, step back occasionally and be grateful that you get to do work that matters.