It’s Showtime!

Whether you deliver one or a thousand presentations, the last thing you need to address is your own energy.  Yes, you’ve followed the rules to design and deliver a totally ADAP Presentation (Audience-Drive, Authentic Presentation), and in a few minutes before “the rubber meets the road”, it’s up to you. How do you become laser-focused, totally immersed in the process?

Years ago, a colleague of mine gave me his formula. In the last few weeks, I’ve heard the same great advice with different stories leading them to the same conclusion from Shizard Carmine, CEO of Positive Intelligence (with whom I’ve been taking a course to master PQ and how to use it in a new coaching program that will soon be available) and Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s top executive coaches. So, try it!

Murphy’s law sets the scenario:  "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". So, regardless of all the preparation, negative forces can get in the way. The equipment suddenly breaks down; your flight to the presentation is delayed and the flight took 18 hours and your suitcase was lost, or the customer can’t make it and her intimidating boss is leading the meeting. How do you possibly step onto the “stage” with enthusiasm?

Just before getting on the “stage”, take a minute to remind yourself that “It’s Showtime”, and the show must go on, and YOU are the show. Stop into a restroom or its equivalent, put everything down, and look into the mirror. Look yourself in the eye, fix straighten your dress, tie, suit, or whatever “suit of armor” You’re wearing, and enthusiastically and out loud tell yourself “It’s Showtime”! And as you repeat it out loud watch how you stand straighter, smile, and feel more relaxed. 

In a recent blog, Marshall observed that’s how Broadway actors launch themselves despite the “headache”, foot pain, etc. If you’re a Positive Intelligence user, do a couple of PQs to switch your brain from one dominated by your saboteurs who are focused on the negatives to one which allows you to adopt the Sage perspective and its five powers.  In both cases, your positive, enthusiastic self walks on stage. And even though you may have stage-fright (which most people do have), you know that within 15 seconds you’ll be immersed in the ADAP delivery and focused on the audience impact.  Indeed, when Barbra Streisand opened at the Barclay Center many years ago, she confessed to still having butterflies when walking on stage, but knowing that they would end within a few seconds, enabled her to perform with the excellence she and her fans expected.

So, the next time you present – remember:  It’s Showtime!

(P. S. To learn more about Positive Intelligence, visit their website take the free assessment, and then contact me to discuss it; jerrycahn@presentationexcellence.com)

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