One of the important elements of any presentation is for the speaker to be psyched up to talk. That’s what puts the passion and theatrics into a good speech. This is different than dealing with anxiety. This is all about self-motivation.
How do you psych yourself up that the audience is going to love everything you say, laugh hysterically at every funny thing you wrote andcry on cue at the sad part? I do it by telling myself just that…that the audience is going to love this presentation. I actually visualize them enjoying my presentation.
Recently, I gave a short speech at a memorial service for a dear friend. I was speaking to about 100 people. 97 of them were complete strangers. Telling myself they are going to love my speech wasn’t working. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t “fired up, ready to go”.
A few years ago my friend Bill, who is a professor at the Harvard Medical School, was telling me a story and used a word I was unfamiliar with. I have a respectable vocabulary so I commented, “that’s a pretty fancy word”.
“I’m a f**king Harvard professor. I better know some fancy words,” he answered.
The way I psyched myself up for the speech at the memorial service was to say “I’m a f**king Harvard speech instructor, I better give a powerhouse talk.”
And I did.