Ask Azra: Presentation is Everything

Dear Azra,

As part of a work project, I’ve been asked to give a presentation to senior leadership. Problem is, I’m a terrible public speaker! I’m afraid if I do what they ask of me, I might mess it up so bad that they will actually fire me. Help!

Speechless in Seattle. 

Dear Speechless,

Your attitude about this situation is all wrong. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! How many people actually get to present things to leadership? I can tell you, not many. You should embrace this project whole heartedly. I know public speaking can be intimidating, but I’ve got some tips to help you get over that pesky part. 

  1. There’s an old saying to imagine your audience naked. I say thats a bit backwards. It’s not the speaker that needs to be distracted with nudity, rather it’s the audience. Instead of wearing your best threads, take the podium in all the glory that nature gave you. Your audience will be so surprised that they will not hear a word of the presentation, which means there’s no worry about flubbing a few words.

  2. Instead of making a presentation for them to ask you questions, flip the script and interrogate your audience on their knowledge of the subject at hand. If you’re feeling like you’re in the hot seat, then they deserve to feel that way too.

  3. Skip the PowerPoint slides and opt for an alternative and memorable presentation style instead. Consider interpretive dance, karaoke, a short play, evocative tapestry, or even abstract art. Really, the potential mediums are endless. 

Individually these options are effective, but when combined, you really can’t lose. Always remember to leave them more confused than when they came into the meeting. It guarantees that they will want more. 

Presentation is Everything,


***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.

Ask Azra: Getting out of a Blind Date

Dear Azra. My friends are setting me up on a blind date that I don’t want to go on. I’m okay being single and I’ve told them that, but none of them are listening to me. They haven’t even given me the guy’s name so I can’t do a social media search to see what kind of crazy I’m getting into. All they tell me is that he’s nice and that he will meet me at the restaurant at seven pm Friday night. How can I get out of this?

Happily Single.

Well, Single, have you stopped to think why are your friends putting you through this? Why are they setting you up with random strangers? Could it be that you are not, in fact, good at being single? Perhaps you are such a mess when you are alone that setting you up with someone, no matter how random, is their last shot before one of them just ends up adopting you out of pity.

But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Since you don’t want your friends to keep trying to set you up, you’ve only got one chance to make this convincing. You have to make it blatantly clear, beyond all shadow if a doubt that you cannot be trusted in a relationship.  Not only do you have to scare away the blind date, but you also have to traumatize your friends enough so they don’t ever try something like this again. Go big or go home.

Since you are already single, you probably know how to scare off potential suitors on your own. Just in case, here are some tips on making sure you always identify with Beyonce’s song, “All the Single Ladies”.

·         Make a solid first impression by embracing your inner cat lady. Except don’t use cats, they are too mainstream. Use wild raccoons instead. Do your best to look like a trash panda- go excess smoky eye and over sized patchwork sweaters to make you look homeless. Bring your own feral raccoon to the restaurant. Say he is your service animal. Demand to inspect the dumpster of the restaurant before being seated. This way you can ferret through the discarded plates to see what is on the menu. Act like a raccoon. Be a raccoon.

·         Research him as much as you can... with him right in front of you. This is the perfect way to ask all of those nosy questions right to his face. Find his social media profiles. Ask what he meant by that vague post five years ago. Question his relationship with every other woman he is friends with. Demand to know why he doesn’t tag his mother in every other post. Pull his Credit Score and go over it with a fine tooth comb. Does he have any priors? Question him about his employment record. After all, this is supposed to be a “get to know you” date, right? Pull out all the stops. You never know if you will uncover the fact that he is a serial killer or a petty thief.

If, for some weird reason, the guy is still interested in pursuing a relationship with you, you only have one more option left.


That’s right. Vomit all over the table, the food, and the sorry bastard. Then run for your life.

Here’s to your Dream Date!


***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.