A few years ago, as I was preparing my “induction speech” as the incoming President of EO St Louis, waves of nervousness kept preventing me from getting my remarks where I wanted. I am typically not one to get stage fright, but in this case, the stakes felt a little higher to me.
My term also coincided with our chapter’s 25th anniversary. We were inviting a couple hundred of our “alumni” in addition to the entire chapter of my peers, who I have a great deal of respect and admiration for…and stage fright was the appropriate term as I would be presenting from the actual stage of The Fabulous Fox Theatre, one of the most beautiful venues in the country.
But I vividly remember the moment when I eviscerated all doubt giving me a clear path to create and deliver this impactful speech that I was, and still am, very proud of.
The moment the dark clouds dissipated was when I realized that really the worst case scenario (unless I really made a fool of myself) was that they don’t remember what I say, it just doesn’t stick in their long term memory.
Potential best case, I get someone to think or feel differently helping create some positive change in their life…and maybe, just maybe, a few years later, a few of them might remember a phrase or two I said.
Seeing the worst case scenario as being irrelevant gave me the confidence and freedom to be vulnerable and authentic; to stop trying to be perfect and just be real.
Now, anytime the butterflies start fluttering in my stomach, I ask myself the likelihood that in 5 years anyone in the room will remember what is said…which calms the butterflies, allowing me to stay focused on the task at hand.
Think about the last time you were a little nervous about a speech or pitch.
If you were to call someone that was there that day, how much do you think they would recall from the interaction?
How could the pressure and stress be different the next time you present with that revelation?