To go shopping, would you use a minivan or Ferrari? What if you were going to race? The choice is a no-brainer. Yet when speaking publicly, many of us want to take a minivan when we should be gearing up to drive a Ferrari.
The Role of Adrenaline in Peak Performance
Driving a Ferrari takes careful practice, or it will feel out of control. The same goes for making the most of your adrenaline. It’s important to rehearse your presentation in situations beyond your comfort zone. Start getting used to the extra power and “zip” that adrenaline provides.
The research is clear. Being calm and comfortable when speaking in public does not necessarily improve performance. In fact, many speakers perform best when they feel anxious, whether they enjoy that feeling or not.
Peak performance requires a tremendous amount of energy. Energy requires adrenaline. By embracing your shot of adrenaline, you transform it into fuel. You’ll excite others through your own total involvement, focus, and excitement.
Centering For Your Dynamic Ride
A Ferrari driver must be 100% present. The same goes for speaking. To be a dynamic speaker, you must center yourself. These four steps will help.
1. Create a clear intention.
Develop a short statement that will motor your soul during your presentation. State the intention in a positive way. (For example, avoid using the word “won’t”, as in “I won’t say ‘um’”.) Here are several examples of intentions that clients of mine have developed:
- “I am going to speak brilliantly.”
- “I will speak with support from my gut!”
- “I will enjoy myself and the audience.”
- “It’s show time!”
Mentally state your intention immediately before you begin to speak.
2. Shake off excess muscular tension.
Have you seen dogs, cats, or horses shake their bodies when they are stressed? Do the same—wiggle and flap your body to shake off excess energy. Do this behind the closed door of a bathroom cubicle before taking the stage.
3. Breathe mindfully.
Breathing shallowly and rapidly keeps us in the “fight, flight, or freeze” mode. Try to get your breath down to your abdomen. Take at least five deep breaths as you prepare in that bathroom cubicle, and then take a couple more deep breaths before starting your presentation.
4. Feel your center.
Long before your presentation, practice finding your body’s center of gravity. Then, before speaking, tune into that core for a second. This focus provides strength and solidity.
Take The Wheel
Through centering and allowing adrenalin to fuel you, you become strong, dynamic, and in charge. So leave the mini-van at home and enjoy the ride!
Learn about Guila Muir’s Presentation Skills Workshops.
Guila Muir is a premiere trainer of trainers, facilitators, and presenters. Since 1994, she has helped thousands of professionals improve their training, facilitation, and presentation skills. Find out how she can help transform you from a boring expert to a great presenter: www.guilamuir.com