The Excitement’s In The Doing
As a life and business coach, I don’t talk about myself and what’s going on in my world in my coaching sessions … unless somebody asks. And they often do.
At the beginning of our recent call, my client asked me, “What are you up to this week?”
“I’m leaving Friday for a speaking engagement.”
“You must be so excited! I know how much you like speaking!”
“Uh, no … I’m not excited at all.”
Wait a minute. Mismatch alert. That seems pretty weird, especially coming from a professional speaker and speaker coach.
But, here’s the thing. I love speaking … and the excitement doesn’t start until I get in the front of the room.
Beforehand, my focus is all on being prepared, and that’s just not all that much fun! The logistics … the practicing … that’s work.
And then, no matter how long you’ve been doing this, there’s the low level flutter of performance anxiety. You’re going to be in front of a group. You want to do well, and it’s normal to be at least a little concerned that everything’ll come off the way you want it to.
My client was pretty well shocked to discover that my love of speaking doesn’t include the week or two before I speak!
And that’s why I’m telling you about it.
Because you probably think you should be all warm and fuzzy … excited and inspired in the days before your upcoming gig.
Nope. Expect to land somewhere on the emotional spectrum between tense and worried … to mildly keyed up.
It’s the same thing musicians tell you … athletes too. They love being on stage / playing the game, but they don’t like all the travel and hassles of life on the road. And, they really don’t like waiting for show time.
Even the best and most experienced suffer from pre-game jitters. Performance anxiety is normal.
But many people don’t see it as normal. They think they’re the only ones that go through it, and so they think they’re just not cut out for speaking.
That’s why there aren’t more speakers out there doing what I do … using speaking to grow their businesses!
There are all kinds of gates you need to pass through … be they creative, logistical, emotional or simply related to the demands of preparation and practice … before you get to the front of the room.
- Do you have two signature speeches that appeal to your target audience?
- Do you have compelling speech descriptions that encourage meeting planners to book you and audience members to attend?
- Do you have that compelling story that compels people to listen? And good solid content … not just fluff.
- Do you have an offer that lands like an opportunity for folks … does it leave them wanting more of you?
- Have you done the work to familiarize yourself with the content to the level that you can generate your talk in a conversational manner without relying on notes or PowerPoint?
And frankly, that’s a big sticking point for folks. There’s a lot of work that goes into learning your presentation if you’re not going to use PPT as a crutch to cue you to what’s next.
I study my presentations for HOURS! Yup, even the ones I’ve done several times before. I spend a lot of time on my introductory story and my offer, because that’s when A) I’m making that first impression and B) moving them from inspiration to action.
And that’s a lot of work. But that’s what enables you to be fully present … totally engaged and inspiring in front of the room.
So, if you think you want to be out there speaking, make sure you’re willing to do the work. It takes grit to get in front of the room … plus rigor and discipline … to do what it takes to do a good job. But the payoff is enormous.
Once you hit the front of the room, feel the energy of the audience, and look into the eyes of the people you’re there to serve, it’s absolutely the most fun you can have!
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