Saturday, May 15, 2010

On The Spot

Some of us get the jitters when we're on the spot, and have to speak in front of other people. Whether we're giving a presentation, talking with the boss, applying for a job, in large or even small groups, or in any situation in which we're the focus of attention, our stress level rises. Not everyone goes through this ordeal, but for the ones who do, the experience can be dread--ful. It might help to learn some ways to calm our queasy stomach and promote a more pleasant outcome.

Tomorrow I'll be giving a short presentation about my book that was recently published. This is something I really want to do, but I'm already feeling those familiar symptoms that turn pleasure into dread. So I'm practicing what I know to replace the shakes with the calm and confidence I need and want.

1. Don't get caught up in what ifs. At a time like this, we can think up all kinds of catastrophes that might happen, but probably won't. What if I can't remember everything. What if I stumble. What if I'm boring. What if I look stupid. What if. What if. Say no to the what ifs.

2. Replace the what ifs with positive statements. I may not be perfect, but I'm good, and I can do this well. I may make a few mistakes--I may not--but it isn't the end of the world, and my best will be good enough.

Prepare early. Don't wait to the last minute, and then have to rush. Plan what you want to say and how you're going to say it. Write things down, edit, condense, and time yourself. Then practice from your mind and heart.

4. Once you know your script, put it aside. Then eat well, sleep well and do something fun. You've done the work. Now relax and hang onto your positive statements if you need them. I have faith in a higher Power, so I also pray. But that's up to you.

These methods may not totally eliminate stress, but they could turn an ordeal into a pleasant experience and increase confidence in other areas of your life. It's a form of personal growth. You're beautiful. Let your light shine.

I wish your voice the freedom it deserves.


1 comment:

  1. Marilyn,
    This is great advice for living, not just public speaking!
    I can't be there today. Apparently no one but me can drive Dad's car with the fancy new lift on the back. I'll be thinking of you and sending up prayers for continued success.