It’s a lot easier to laugh at yourself after the fact. After you’ve screwed up, made a gross error or just flopped. Mistakes happen – and I keep making them. But I’d rather pull my pants down, so to speak, and expose myself than pretend it hasn’t happened or hold my head down in some sort of misplaced shame. I use “misplaced” because if you’ve tried something new, if you’ve ventured beyond your narrow comfort zone, then shame shouldn’t even be part of the equation. You’ve already won.
It’s still hard though.
What do I mean, exactly? I gave a tele-class last month, and one listener was kind enough to point out a distracting speech pattern of mine – I used “you know” a LOT. I made a note on the office white board, and improved the next session. Pretty simple stuff.
But I just listened to the podcast I taped for All Business last week, and it was horrible. Really, really awful. It’s always somewhat uncomfortable to listen to yourself, but this was extreme. There are so many “um”s it’s unbelievable. I’m embarrassed by it. But I want you to listen to it. It’s a great example of something that needs to be corrected, and I want to share it with you. I’d never spoke in that sort of environment before, one on one in a radio station, and it really affected me.
This is far from the first time speaking has tripped me up. In an earlier post I described my experience presenting in front of Coca Cola. It was my first time, I was unprepared, and the result was disastrous. I’d wowed them at an intimate dinner setting, but in front of an auditorium full of people, I bombed. Some time later, after my first television experience, a friend informed me that I needed to get help before I appeared again – I was that off.
These two experienced were learning ones. You’re going to trip up, you’re going to mess up, and you’re going to make mistakes. You probably haven’t heard this enough – it’s okay. I want to stress this truth above all else. That it’s just life to screw up. You simply can’t prepare for every experience. Take from them, and move on. And then maybe a little later, laugh at yourself. Hell I keep creating opportunities for me to…
You can listen to the podcast HERE.
Here are a few things that might help you the first time in a radio studio from Chris Bjorklund, Podcast Editor, AllBusiness.com
1) Get there early so you can chat with the engineer and host. Talking
to them can be a good way to calm your nerves and establish a personal
2) Do not drink a lot of caffeine because that has a dehydrating
effect. Do not drink cold water because it hardens vocal cords. Room
temperature or warm water is best. Stay hydrated.
3) Wear something comfortable — so you can breathe fully through the
belly and into your back. Check your breathing from time to time when
the host is talking. You would be surprised at how many people hold