Prepare to Laugh at Yourself
Embarrassment is self-conscious emotions dictated by a disconnect between how we feel we should respond or act and how we actually respond or act. Everyone knows the feeling of embarrassment and how it is not the best feeling. There are few ways to control it as it usually happens with little notice; however, there are ways we can respond to it!
Many years ago, I was teaching at ‘Willis College of Business and Technology’ in Ottawa. I was sitting on the front corner of the teacher’s desk, explaining a point to the class, and I could feel something amiss about the energy level in the room. The class, comprised mostly of women, seemed to be in a strange, and almost silly, mood.
I concluded that it was due to my magnetic personality, causing the class full of women to be so capricious in my presence. Then, one of the ladies at the back of the room held up her hand. I acknowledged her, and she said, “We have a problem.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“Your fly is down!” She replied, as she giggled. I looked down, and saw that she was telling the truth. Not only was my zipper down but, because of the manner in which I was sitting on the edge of the desk, there was also a gaping hole to make it easier for the class to peer into my pants. I looked completely ridiculous!
The first thing you need to understand is that your performance is not always going to go as planned. In this case- it was my responsibility to check for these things before I stood up in front of a crowded room and I neglected to do so. Unexpected events are going to occur and we need to learn how to laugh it off and move on!
A study at the University of California revealed being able to laugh at yourself is linked with higher levels of optimism and better moods. This means that you will radiate positivity in the room. Something that happened that may be embarrassing to you, can be turned into a positive icebreaker in the process.
Use whatever happens as part of the show. We all know that nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. It is important to know that you are your biggest critic. You will think that others will be judging you, but most people won’t. Laughing at your mistakes will make the audience feel more comfortable and will make your life a lot easier!
So, what’s the lesson? There are things that will happen that will throw off your game. Learn to laugh at yourself; it’ll make your life far more enjoyable.
Would you like more speaking tips? Try these 8 videos (They are all free).