Shift your thinking about how you practice before you go live and you will exponentially improve your outcome.

At the start, most of us (and I am no exception), feel vulnerable when we present for others.  It is unnerving.  “Am I doing a good job?”; “Are they understanding what I am trying to say?”; “On a scale of 1 – 10, just how fabulous am I?!” That inner, uncertain voice can be a real strangler. Anticipating the judgment of others is often a tension-filled and an anxiety producing experience.  What to do?

I say, recognize that your practice needs to be messy. I remind speakers that the time for nerves, anxiety, and worry about the actual presentation day is not now. Now, is the time to concentrate and focus on the actual content, the flow, the physical experience of delivery.  We will deal with the other issues later.  For now, let’s get into a state of inquiry and semi-detachment. Let’s participate in a few stumble-throughs and then engage in a dialogue that distills and clarifies where you are going on your presentation journey and why! Let’s stop thinking that each practice is a mini-demonstration and let it be an opportunity to get deep into our understanding of what we are trying to express.  Let’s make it messy and filled with mistakes. Let’s be open and take risks. Let’s stop worrying about nailing it the first time or over-thinking about what other people think.  Let’s deepen and build the experience of our own words and how we connect to others.  Nothing worth doing comes effortlessly. Let’s stop believing it should and dive into the wreck. I guarantee this process will strengthen and  empower your speaker practice.

Charlotte Dietz