Thinking of yourself is an advocate is a good one when engaging with a cross-functional team. For instance, as designers we advocate for the best visual presentation of content and intent. However, perhaps the idea of contribution is an even better one, as in “How can I contribute to this effort, or this team?” I came across this post on presentation zen that has this perspective:
It’s not (always) about success/failure, it’s about contribution
Rather than asking questions such as “Will I be appreciated?” or “Will I win them over?” and so on, ask “How can I make a contribution?” ….
“We are about contribution, that’s what our job is … everyone was clear you contributed passion to the people in this room. Did you do it better than the next violinist, or did he do better than a pianist? I don’t care, because in contribution, there is no better!”
Rather than getting bogged down in a sea of measurement where you compare yourself to others and worry about whether you are worthy to be making the presentation or whether someone else could be doing it better, instead realize that at this moment in time — right here right now — you are the gift and your message is the contribution. There is no “better,” there is only now.
That’s a more inspiring (and probably more useful) perspective to help us get through some rapid changes ahead. Plus a little more teflon for the pan when controversies arise.
(There are some other quite good posts on Presentation Zen as well, about giving presentations and even some nuts and bolts on powerpoint.)