Before speaking or performing, I always pause a minute or so, and I take a good look at the person in the mirror.
I do this for several reasons:
- I want to visualize who my audience is going to be seeing. This helps me to put myself in their shoes a little, and it elevates my understanding of what their experience will be like. It’s all part of having empathy for my audience.
- I check to make sure that I’m physically prepared to present, that I don’t have to worry when I walk out onto the stage. I check to make sure that my tie is properly tied, and whether there are obvious imperfections of which I’m not aware, such as a green thing between my teeth.
- I give myself a little pep-talk. A mini “Rah! Rah!” session to help elevate my belief that I will do the best I can do when I take the stage in a few minutes.
- The last thing I do is to give myself a mini pat on the back. A personal “Atta-boy” for pursuing my passion, and getting myself to this spot, on this day, and being ready to do my work.
So, what’s the lesson? Give yourself a little personal encouragement and accolades for a job well done, before you begin to speak. It will lift your confidence, and elevate your empathy for the audience.