At the start of any new enterprise, things will go wrong or just be unsatisfactory. If your first talk was clearly not what you or the audience hoped – they twiddled their thumbs, fell asleep or kept looking at the clock etc, do not give up and think that you are hopeless at it.
The first time will probably be not quite right, you might have forgotten some of the advice you might have read or, perhaps you did not cope well with last minute surprises, such as the weather or road works making you late or you forgot something important that you were going to show. Maybe you didn’t feel that you dealt with the questions very well. It doesn’t matter – learn from your mistakes and aim to improve next time. Don’t give up!
Make a list of all that seemed to go wrong. Leave space to write or type, on the other side of the page, what you could do to improve each item. When you are preparing your next talk, refer to your list and plan things differently.
If there was anyone you know and trust who was present at the previous talk, ask for feedback and constructive criticism. You must be prepared to accept it with good grace and use it to improve your presentation next time.
Those whom you ask for this criticism must know that they may speak honestly but ask them to be as kind as possible and give useful criticism. Just being told, “I didn’t think you came across well, at all,” isn’t constructive. It needs to be something like, “You didn’t come across well because you never looked at your audience and you constantly looked at the ceiling.” Nobody likes to be criticised but it is usually necessary when anyone is starting out on a new enterprise. Don’t be too arrogant to accept it.