I know. You had the best intentions. You prepared. You knew you were going to kill it. You did EVERYTHING RIGHT. But then… things just didn’t pan out the way you planned, and then your talk was just “pretty good, I guess.”
A few weeks ago I had not one, but two clients tell me that their super-important presentation to the CEO went “pretty well” if it wasn’t for the fact that they were jetlagged, then couldn’t fall asleep, and then were rushed to finish because the CEO showed up late.
When so many things go sideways, it’s hard to bring your full energy and focus to your presentation, but you HAVE NO CHOICE if you want to make an impact and an impression. For those extra-important meetings when you have to bring your best self, here’s my checklist for being full of energy no matter what.
Week of Presentation:
Track your energy levels.
If your presentation is at 11am, pay attention to how you feel around that time and what seems to boost or kill your energy. For example, do you notice that if you fit in a morning workout you’re still buzzing through the day? Does the second (or eighth) cup of coffee do the trick? Does a carby breakfast put you in a slump? Pay attention!
Get a good night’s sleep!
Here’s what helps me make sure I’ll fall asleep:
– I tire myself out during the day with a really good workout.
– I’ll have a chamomile tea (or melatonin) and a long, hot shower right before going to bed.
(PS – both of these are “herbal remedies” for sleep, but obviously check in with your doctor first.)
If I’m so excited I can’t fall asleep:
– I grab a notebook and write down whatever’s rattling around in my brain – this usually helps because it signals to the brain “okay, I won’t forget it.”
– I might get out of bed and read a book or do something else for a few minutes.
– I usually go back to bed upside down which seems to always do the trick
– Get on your phone – the blue light is overly stimulating (especially if you’re reading an angry Twitter feed) and you’ll never fall asleep.
– Drink alcohol – well, you’re an adult, you know your body best. But I often find that being even a little dehydrated the next day is too big of a price to pay.
Morning of your presentation:
Get yourself pumped up for the day!
– Play something upbeat and motivating while you’re getting ready. Something like “This Girl is on Fire” or “I got a feeling.” Get yourself pumped up with music!
– Do some REAL exercise that gets you sweaty, tired, and out of breath. None of this “I’ll go for a brisk walk” business. If I can’t hit the gym, I’ll do a hundred squats and then an invigorating stretch.
– Eat like you would any other day. Today’s not a day to experiment.
– Force yourself to “over-smile” for at least thirty seconds a few times before you get in. You can do this in the shower or during your drive. It feels ridiculous, but it totally boosts your mood.
– Have a cold shower.
Before your big talk, on location:
Keep yourself in the zone, and take little moments to boost your own energy.
Once you’re there, things might still go wrong. You might have to wait for the CEO who’s running late, you might run into someone who totally drains you, or your adrenaline might just run out. Keep your mood and your energy high by doing these:
– Keep your body language open and confident. Spread out and take up space while you’re waiting. Spine straight, shoulders down and back. (Don’t slump yourself down into a little ball.)
– Take very deep breaths to ENERGIZE yourself, smile, and open your eyes wide.
– Keep reminding yourself how excited you are.
And then CRUSH that presentation!
Next time you have a high-stakes presentation, interview, or meeting be sure to follow my high-energy checklist and let me know how it works out.
Of course, none of this would help without the proper preparation and getting yourself in the zone. When you’re ready to start working with a coach, just hit reply to this email and we’ll craft a plan just for you.
Until next time,
Public Speaking and Communication Coach