I have a speech due tomorrow, and I’m absolutely terrified.
I’m sure we’ve all felt this. That feeling of dread over public speaking. That feeling that your head is on the chopping block.
Here are the things that help me when I’m dreading something really horrible, like public speaking. The horror!
1. Visualize the worst
It’s rarely that terrible. What is the worst possible scenario here? Maybe that I make a mess of it and embarass myself really, really badly. Even if that does happen, what of it? Will I be unable to recover from that one speech for the rest of my life?
Unless I am the President presenting in front of the United Nations, this is unlikely.
Now, I know that the worst possible scenario, something that is unlikely to happen to begin with, isn’t something that I will never recover from.
2. Take Action
What can I do to minimize my chances of failing? Prepare the speech. Practice, practice, practice. Do it in front of the mirror. All these things minimize my chances of getting the worst case outcome in step 1.
3. Sleep. Lots of sleep.
It is imperative to get good sleep, or the best I can get, the night before. Do not worry the entire night. Fretting, especially at the cost of valuable sleeping time, can only cause major failure in this case.
That’s it. My formula for instant public speaking success. Or, at least, things that help you when you’re fretting.
I wrote this weeks ago. The speech actually went decently, especially considering I didn’t do step 2: take action much. It wasn’t a big speech, which is why I didn’t prepare that well and just went almost-impromptu. Oops.
So here I am, weeks later, still alive, and not horribly embarrassed. Just goes to show that some things seem way more important before they occur, but are just *meh* afterwards. So, next time you dread something, remind yourself that you’ll probably feel *meh* about it, given time.
Till next time,