Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to conduct presentations as far flung as Russia, Iran and India. Great experiences they all were, but let me share a secret with you.
I was rather apprehensive about each one.
Why? The main cause of my apprehension was the audience – I didn’t know how they would react to my topic, my stories and humour.
This apprehension was a good thing because it spurred me into preparing so I sought out contacts who had spoken to the audiences before and researched the culture.
And to cap all that research, I used one of the oldest tricks in the book, which you can use too.
Vigorously visualising the whole presentation. I don’t mean just thinking about it, but energetically doing so. Using a little bit of NLP, I imagined what the stage looked like, the visual aids, the people, the room décor, the weather outside and I turned the imagination into a panoramic view and made it move in my head, just like a movie.
I listened to the sounds, the laughter, chatter amongst the people. The music, the ambient noise, the traffic outside.
I also imagined my own feelings inside my stomach of confidence and assuredness. Well I imagined good feelings didn’t I, since it was my mind.
And that’s the point. I made the whole thing up to be good, successful. Why not, after all, it’s my head and I can do what I like inside there, no one else will know.
The days leading up to my trip and presentations, I kept reliving the whole picture, the sounds and feelings and the big applause at the end.
Spookily, this made me feel a whole lot more in control and my Inner Game was working for me not against me and I enjoyed, thoroughly, the talks.
Did they happen like my imagination? Well you’ll have to talk to the Muscovites, the Indians and the Iranians about that!