If Presenting or Speaking is Torture, You’re Doing it Wrong…
Overthinking, excessive planning, and hesitation are all related. They all involve taking ourselves out of the moment and into our worries and anxieties.
This internal mental and emotional conflict undercuts your communication effectiveness.
Communication, whether one-to-one or one-to-thousands, is fundamentally a form of connection with someone.
When you get lost in your insecurities and worries about “am I doing it right?” or “what’s the right thing to say?” you break that connection.
While your mouth may be moving, the human-to-human link where real communication happens, has already evaporated.
The opposite is what we experience when we are “in the zone” or “in flow.”
The state of “flow” consists of the following:
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- Merging of action and awareness
- A loss of reflective self-consciousness
- A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- A distortion of temporal experience, one’s subjective experience of time is altered
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience
Imagine having a genuine, solid connection with someone, even if just for a few minutes, where all of these conditions are met.
Imagine how easy and effective that conversation would be. Imagine how enjoyable it would be.
All it takes is that we allow it to happen.
Humans were built to communicate with each other. All mammals have a strong social component. Communication is meant to come naturally and easily.
What gets in the way of easy, natural, genuine communication is the inane stories we tell ourselves, our negative self-image, our fear of judgment from peers, or our fear of punishment from “higher status” authority figures.
Whenever I find myself struggling or feeling stressed about a meeting, a presentation, or a phone conversation, I take a step back. I say “Hold on a second, what if this was super easy and natural for me? What if it required nothing other than my own innate capabilities?”
That usually helps me relax. From that place of relaxed confidence in myself, genuine and authentic communication is possible.
I don’t have to try to be perfect. I don’t have to impress everyone. And I don’t have to be a super-expert on everything.
I can just let my guard down and connect with the other person.