You’ve been preparing diligently for your speech/presentation, done your research and practiced it all for what seems like a hundred times. Then, the moment of truth arrives and everything goes wrong!! How could this happen to you???
The answer might be simpler than you have imagined. Ready?
Bad Presentations Happen to Good People!
Sometimes, you can do all of the right things and still, somehow, miss the mark. If this experience sounds familiar, your next step is the most important. And it is probably the one you are least likely to want to take. Keep speaking. I know, easier said than done, right? So perhaps a little pep talk is in order. There are a few things to focus on for the next opportunity.
Everything Didn’t Really Go Wrong
You may still have visions of jammed PowerPoint presentations, omitted paragraphs, or the blank stares in response to your opening joke dancing regularly through your brain. Nevertheless, give yourself credit where it is due. You prepared to the best of your ability. You showed up. You followed through. Do not dismiss those three pertinent actions. American psychologist, B.F. Skinner, says, “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” Acknowledge the courage it took to get up and face an audience.
You Were Never Going to Die
If you’re able to read this blog today, chances are that your last speaking experience was never life threatening. It was only your emotions and your ego that took the hit. A little perspective might be in order. Most children earn more than a few skinned knees before they learn to ride a bike successfully. Interestingly, as adults, we seldom remember those falls. Consider a bad speech/presentation the speaking equivalent. Down the road, you’ll forget all about it.
It’s Time to Make the Shift
Finally, don’t make the negative the center of your attention. Purpose to take a sideways shift away from thoughts that are aimed at holding you back. Instead, retrieve any constructive feedback you can. Take a deep breath. And then, resolve to step out once again!!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Neale Donald Walsch