Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Pressure to be Perfect is Real

Aim to Deliver "Real" - Not Perfection
All the preparation in the world doesn’t guarantee a great speech or presentation.  Nor do all the detailed statistics, slides and notecards.

At a speeches greatest core is delivery and the ability to control yourself. and connect with the audience. 

That said, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  After all the thousands of television shows I’ve hosted, the hundreds of speeches I’ve given and the numerous seminars led, only recently have I found myself in a situation where I’ve felt a little “off,” dealing with a little more anxiety, feeling the heart race a bit faster, and wondering how in the world I got to this place.

I’ve spent much time reflecting on my best talks and my most engaged audiences.  I’ve analyzed how I prepared, how I started my talk or what might lead me into a situation where things become a bit uncomfortable.

And I believe I’ve found it.  Three things are at the root.

·         First, is the passion I have for the given topic.  Hopefully we all have passion for what we discuss, right?  But when there are hard earned “victories” to celebrate or stories with emotional ties, sharing or delivering to a group of co-workers or industry colleagues can create real vulnerability and things can tug at you.

·         Second, is the respect I have for that given audience.  Trust me, it is far easier to deliver to those who don’t really know you than it is to have a room filled with people counting on you or personally and professionally tied to you.  Standing before people you respect and represent is an honor that comes with great challenge to deliver.

·        Thirdly … is what I believe will get you every time.  The desire to be “perfect.”  Expecting so much from yourself, demanding that you deliver every key point, making sure you say everything the right way – that’s a big dose of pressure to take to the stage.

If I break it down further, I feel I am at my personal best when I’m “just me.” Discarding the responsibility I feel to others the minute I walk in front of an audience or step in front of a microphone is a now a goal for me when hosting, interviewing or speaking to a group.

To this day, one of the best shows I ever remember hosting at Golf Channel came with ZERO time to prepare, as I rushed in early to handle an extra show for someone who became ill.  And I remember saying “we won’t kill them with information, that’s for sure…. so let’s kill them with entertainment value!”  And you know what, our panel discussions were better, my sense of enthusiasm was higher and I truly believe it’s because we went “unscripted” and off personal and professional knowledge and familiarity. 

Learn from EVERY Speech
Don’t get me wrong… I love the big stage.  I can't think of one time I felt scared or afraid.  And more than anything, I love the challenge that comes with delivering something that truly impacts others.  But ... what I have learned - especially lately - is that the goal of perfection never works.  We aren’t … and a presentation or speech never will be either.

So the next time you feel like a speech or a presentation put you in a strange place midstream, or forced you into a "pause" .... analyze the why and cut yourself a break – remembering that you were chosen for that opportunity and just being you is the main reason why.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing this blog.  I hope it helps you and as always, I welcome the feedback - here or via Twitter @KraigKann


Thought for the Day: A perfect speech or presentation or ceremony doesn’t exist.  A well-delivered speech that’s authentic and at times unscripted is what leads to connection.

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