Attitude of Gratitude
Some things in life just come naturally, some things are so easy, and we gladly take the time and smile about them and have the feeling that we can be thankful for the positive things that happen to us. Especially in the presentation business, we enjoy the beauty of design, the professional skills of presenting, our eloquence when speaking and our competent way of using tools and assets.
But sometimes the blessings come in disguise.
Have you ever started a presentation with a slip of tongue? Have you ever faced an impatient audience because your tech-check was delayed? Have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation? You probably have something you don’t really want to think about? Something you actually like to suppress, forget and ignore?
No! We are gathered here today to embrace the art of suck, take a swim in our ocean of
failures and reminisce about the beauty of our finest mistakes.
Or as I call it: You will always get a second chance to fuck up a good impression 😆
Be grateful for failure:
About Mess Ups and Shake Offs
In the world of presentations and presenters we always hear a lot of tips how things can be optimal, how things can be great and how we can fly. To be honest, when you listen to the experts, and you try to
execute all their experience and advise, you have a confident feeling of “you can do it”. But not every presentation goes great, not everyone can perform as well as they would want to. So why is it, that we suppress the inevitable? WE FAIL ON OCCASION! We mess up a live performance, we are not on top of our game when we are in an important call, we ruin a pitch, or we simply lose it and go blank.
It happens to all of us. Experts always tell us how to fly but hardly anyone tells us how to land, much less how to do a crash landing 😉
When you start learning martial arts, you first learn to fall or avoid the hardest of hits. In the professional world, no one wants you to first make a lot of mistakes and mess up because you are being groomed to be an efficient and professional worker bee. But how come with something like presenting and presentations, hardy anyone finds a professional test surrounding, where it is not only ok but where it is essential to try and mess up?
A recent experience: I was invited to a Podcast. I had never done this before. I listen to Podcasts, but I was not really prepared about the surrounding and the feeling I would have. I simply thought, it would be a conversation. In new situations, I put, like everybody else, a lot of pressure on myself that I get nervous. I blabbered and blabbered and in my brain was a little circus monkey with cymbals running circles.
After the call, I felt exposed and embarrassed. I felt that I did a pretty shitty job. In this moment I was wondering, why I had suppressed the possibility of the feeling of failure in a “simple conversation” and why I did not gracefully prepare for a crash landing.
Presentations can be practiced, interview situations can be practiced, speeches can be practiced. Media people have routine, in professional life gaining the routines is something you might have to take upon yourself to find a place, a group or a test surrounding, where you can stumble, crash and burn and gain more confidence as you keep doing it over and over.
Make fear your motivation, make mockery your fun, make nervousness your asset, be grateful for the imperfections.
Be grateful for advice:
About Lighthouses and Guidance
Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money twice. (Don’t you just love Pitbull?)
When seeking any form of orientation, I have found that there are plenty of learnings within. This world has started to spin faster than ever before.
New markets, new businesses, new work, new social situations. It is more than ever a market of assistance, help and self-help or as they call it a market of coaches and advisors.
In the situation of the lack of orientation this market is booming but are these offers really what you need? Do these Coaches and Advisors really help you along the way?
What can coaching do, and what not?
If you are looking for a coach, you will be surprised: This job title is neither protected nor tied to any specific degree. As I’ve had to learn the hard way: The flood of certificates with different job titles makes it difficult to find the right coach for your needs. The oversupply of coaching makes for absolute confusion, while the demand for someone to stand by your side in this rapidly evolving world is increasing.
In order to prevent you from having the same disappointing coaching experience I had, I’ve tried to sum up some red flags when it comes to looking for the right coaching experience. You’re welcome! 😉
- A good coach should NOT know an answer to every question and every problem immediately. A “know-it-all” coach should always be a red flag. Every good coach knows his or her own limitations and will refer you to the appropriate experts for specific topics.
- If someone makes unrealistic promises, make sure to stay away as far as you can. A good coach can never guarantee success.
- If someone has no relevant education and training or a lack of proven coaching experience. That should be a given!!
- If someone knows from the very beginning what is right for you: run! The coach’s task is to enable you to make the right decision for yourself. Support through inspiration. Predefined world views and solutions exist in cults, not in coaching.
- Someone who offers a pre-set coaching program with no individual assessment of your personal situation or business model – major red flag
Coaching is about someone pointing out the blind spots that you yourself have overlooked so far – the trained view from the outside helps you to look at your situation from other angles and to make decisions with a clearer head. Coaching is event-driven learning, a process that gives you tools for sustainable change.
Be grateful for doubters:
About Safety Nets and Care
For some people advice from friends and family is important. The problem with this constellation is mostly that none of them had ever the plans or ambition to go where you want to go. The advice you get from them is mostly out of worry or their limited imagination. They lay their own fear on you, and they advise you against risks which you would actually need to take. Their advice comes from the heart, no doubt about that but they have never walked the path you long to go. However, they are always there to care for you with love if you should seek a place to rest. Ok, some will say “I told you so” but in case of emergency, just appreciate your safety net when you fall and all their love and care. Which does not mean, that you have proved them right, it only means that you might need a different approach or start from scratch.
Presenting and forming your professional life often means to be in a limelight. That you have obtained a skill or knowledge that others could benefit from. It means that you have something to give. Be brave enough to suck at something, be happy about the struggles along the way, enjoy your mistakes and shitty performances and know that you are not alone. Sometimes mistakes are way funnier than an actual lecture or why are we still laughing if someone trips and falls?