The tears were welling up in his eyes.
It took a long time for him to look up at me.
My client, let’s call him Steve, had been working with me for weeks to craft an all-important presentation that he is going to give later this year for a group of thought leaders. It was a Very Big Deal and he had been working so hard on it.
‘I don’t know if I can pull this off.’
‘I’m a fraud. Who am I to even think they could be inspired by this?’
‘I am so in my head I have lost connection to my talk.’
As a communication coach, I see this so often. It’s completely natural and normal to get caught up in the shame game. To have a pity party (table for 1, please) for yourself. To be drowning in doubt and holding on to hesitation.
But you know what?
That’s not who you are.
That is just a HABIT you’ve developed.
This is your go-to place when things get tough. It’s your default mode when faced with a stressful situation.
You have trained your brain to repeat these thoughts over and over.
It’s not who you are- it’s just a HABIT that you have created. And you keep going back to it, without even realising it.
And you then think that this is who you are.
It’s not. It’s just your limbic brain doing what you have trained it to do, over and over again. This is the track of neurons that has been created in this pattern due to repetition. This is how habits get formed.
So…you need to switch brain tracks. Fast. But how?
You need to go from the limbic brain, which controls your emotions and habits, and activate the prefrontal cortex instead, which is responsible for action and decisions.
It’s actually very simple.
To change brain tracks, you simply need to count back from 5. Out loud.
You say 5-4-3-2-1 and then you say GO! (Or clap your hands. I do both!)
Counting backwards activates your analytical brain. It gets you out of the emotional track, and back into ‘reason’, or decisive action. When you count back and reach GO it’s time to get active. To put something into practise and ditch the doubt.
With my client, this meant taking a deep breath, and focussing on WHY he wanted to share his story. And how GRATEFUL he was to be given this amazing, global opportunity.
This was such a game changer for him. He started again and spoke with such grace and passion that I was the one in tears at the end. I was thrilled to see him put the 5-second rule into practise immediately and get back on track. (If you’d like to know more about this, read ‘The 5 Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins. It’s fantastic!)
This is just 1 of the many (many) actionable tips I’ll be sharing in my Powerful Presentations Masterclass on February 2.
I am keeping the group super small (I can only help 10 people max) to make sure everyone can implement all my feedback and advice immediately. There are just a couple of spots left.
If you’d like to totally own your story, find fresh new presentation approaches, or get a strong start before you present in English for the first time, I welcome you to join me on a 2-hour learning journey on February 2. It’s not just the masterclass, you also get the recording of the workshop plus an ebook that you can use forever to get some Buffilove whenever you need it in the future!
Are you going to stay in doubt, get stuck in your head, hold on to your habits… or are you going to take 1 small active step?
It’s totally up to you.
Buffi (who just clapped)
PS: If you are happy with your presentation skills, feel free to share this mail with someone who needs confidence in this area, or who is looking for new inspiration when it comes to presenting. It might just give them the boost they need!