Yesterday morning, I went through the wringer as I gave a dry run of a presentation to my colleagues. They were picky as could be - They didn't like the size of the plots, the style of the font, the order of the slides.
Their critique ultimately will help me to prepare for the external presentation that I am scheduled to give next month. But it is nevertheless somewhat overwhelming.
About halfway through the ninety minutes of scrutiny, I felt about ready to call it quits. "OK folks, I get the point, I need to completely start it over, Can we just skip the last ten slides? I'm ready to go check my email and eat lunch." At least temporarily, I wanted to forget that this presentation existed at all.
But then I took a deep breath. Trying to be an undercover missionary makes these situations a little different.
It is bad enough to possibly be "the guy who has a prayer card on his office wall, but is incompetent at presentations." But now I was also on the verge of being "the guy who has a prayer card on his office wall, is incompetent at presentations, and also gives up in the face of criticism."
Instead, I would rather be "the guy who has the prayer card on his office wall, might not be perfect at first, but works hard to do his best." So I did my best to attentively field their suggestions.