I want you to visualize these two contrasting experiences.
You have a presentation and you are not well prepared.
You know you should have put more time into it but now it’s too late.
Your nerves are causing your stomach to turn, your mouth to dry up, and your breathing to become irregular.
You try to calm yourself but your body is shaking and your head is spinning on all the things you need to remember to pull off this presentation. You are afraid you are going to make mistakes and feel embarrassed in front of your colleagues.
Your brain is looking for every excuse to get out of it but you know it’s not possible – you’re going to need to present whether you’re ready or not.
Now think of the alternative.
You have a presentation and are very well prepared.
You put in the time in advance to finalize the slides and have arrived early enough to make sure everything is in place.
You are dressed sharp and comfortably having picked out your clothes before based on your observation of others and what feels right to you.
You have practiced what you are going to say and your head is clear about the message you want to deliver.
Your mind is focused on your audience and the value you can offer them through your message.
You’re feeling a little nervous but you know that’s a natural response to speaking in front of people. You acknowledge the nerves, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you’re going to do great.
You know that your presentation won’t be perfect but that’s okay. You’ve done your best and you’ll learn and build on this experience as you’ve done before.
Which of these experiences brings more confidence?
Preparation builds lasting skill and incredible confidence.
I encourage you to plan ahead and give yourself that gift. You deserve it.
Do it consistently and over time you will be amazed at who you will become.