Have you ever felt strangely wired, unbalanced, or out of your comfort zone when traveling to train or present? While it’s super-rewarding to know that distant folks value your expertise, travel can spur unexpected anxiety. How do you keep from getting derailed?
Out of Control
We depend on exerting a fair amount of control over our familiar environment. We know what our houses look like, how our pillows feel, where to eat, etc. We may not realize how much comfort we derive from these homely details until they are no longer there.
What to Do
I’ve collected some suggestions to help traveling trainers and presenters retain a sense of healthy wholeness. To reduce your anxiety, try these tips:
- Visit the room you’ll be presenting in upon arrival. If possible, make sure it is already set up correctly.
- Contact your host to confirm that you are in town. Depending on your personality and the situation, consider opting out of pre-“Big Day” invitations for dinner. Do what makes you most comfortable, NOT what you think others want you to do. Be selfish with your energy.
- Upon arrival in your hotel room, set it up with familiar things. Picture of partner or pet? Special hairbrush? Prepare and lay out your outfit.
- Practice your presentation once, and only once, on the road. (This assumes that you have rehearsed well before you left home.) Do not over-practice.
- Be sure to get physical exercise while traveling-even if it means just walking the conference room grounds. Keeping your body moving protects against nervousness. Remember to bring your swim suit.
- Don’t worry about getting enough sleep. Chances are that you might not. But the magic truth is: You will perform just as well as you would have with enough sleep. Know that things will go fine. You can make up your sleep deficit later.
- If you have time, try to fit in some version of your usual meditation or yoga practice.
- Be sure to make time for a hearty breakfast the day of your presentation.
Arrive in your training room at least one hour before start time. You may be surprised how familiar things seem. This is because your subconscious mind has been preparing you all along for this moment. Relax, take some deep breaths, and step into being the star that you are.