Saturday night I had my first exposure to Ventura Raceway with VRA Midgets, IMCA modifieds, and go-carts. These are modified vehicles and go-carts and they go fast! Wow was it intense and talk about taking risks! I could not believe the speeds that these guys hurl themselves around the track and how they accelerate into the curbs and radically skid around every turn. Think of these drivers, the concentration they need to keep themselves fixed on the track and the cars around them, so they can stay in the race and not go into overwhelm or be psyched out by other drivers and their cars. It reminded me of public speaking in a weird way, my body was tense the entire time and I was just watching!
How many of us hear that we have to give a speech at work and immediately go into anxiety mode? Our minds and emotions go into overload and begin to feed our conscious thought all kinds of negative thoughts about failure, anxiety and sheer panic. It does not have to be that way, but it takes conscious conditioning to get ourselves out of this mode of being.
How many of you would rather be at the race track doing laps at ripping speeds then actually giving a speech? Think of the focus and attention these drivers have as they are racing around the track at high speeds. They don’t just arrive at the track, they have expended huge amounts of time planning, preparing and rehearsing. They study the track, the straightaways, the curves, and all the nuances they may encounter, as it is a dirt track. They have spent countless hours on their engines and cars making sure all the details are just right and everything is working perfectly. This is the same with public speaking….you can’t just show up without spending time on writing your content, planning your delivery and rehearsing your speech. Everything has to be perfect or you stand losing your reputation, not making the sale, not getting the job, or letting down your teammates.
So the next time you hear that you will need to prepare and deliver a presentation, think of yourself as a risk taker and prepare yourself for the green flag. Spend the time writing the content that fits the audience; spend time rehearsing your speech and practicing your delivery; spend time with the details of the delivery, the room, the media presentation, so you don’t get caught with an engine that won’t fire or spinning out of control and losing the race.
Your words permeate your world!