Have you ever been on-stage, in front of an audience… and you forgot what you were saying?
Ugh… the dreaded nightmare of this profession!
You know what I’m talking about… you go blank, then stare at the floor or up at the ceiling, trying desperately to remember what to say next. Of course, in that moment, your memory has to compete against the part of your mind that’s saying, “Oh, *&%, this is going bad, everyone knows I have no idea what I’m suppose to say…”
And on it goes.
The truth is, this creates a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the panic in your body language will have your audience shut down to you. Its so subtle, yet oh, so powerful!
So, how do you avoid this?
Well, the answer is NOT to be better prepared. Its NOT about doing everything in your power to avoid making mistakes. Making a mistake is NOT an issue, its what you DO with the mistake that makes all the difference.
Let me explain.
When you’re on a stage or in front of a room of people, you’re in a Leadership position. Each member of the audience has a specific problem and they see you as a potential Leader to guide them out of it.
And, these people are smart… each one has their own life experience to tell them that things will go wrong along the way, they always do. So, consciously or sub-consciously, these people want to know what you’re going to do when things go wrong.
When you look at the floor or the ceiling, or when you rummage through your notes, you communicate, “If things go a bit sour, I’m outta here… you’re on your own.”
This is a HUGE trust-breaker with your audience. Again, its so subtle, yet so powerful. Everything is magnified when you’re the Leader.
However, if you can manage to stay in full connection with your audience, you communicate, “When things don’t go exactly as planned, I’ll be right here with you… we’re in this together!
So, how do you do this?
I’ll never forget the first time one of my mentors told me, “Callan, I promise you, the answer is NOT on the floor… try finding it in someone’s eyes.”
These may very well be the wisest words ever said to me about leading from the front of the room.
When you stay in Connection with your audience, your ‘flaws’ and ‘miscues’ will actually benefit your overall presentation! It makes you more ‘real’… more approachable…more Human.
So, no matter what happens in your workshop or seminar room, stay with your audience! You are their Leader, so act like one!
When you make a mistake, that chatter going on in your mind mistakenly thinks your presentation is about YOU.
Remember, its not about You… its NEVER about You.