“Buffi, I have written out my entire speech. I have practiced every word. I know every single one by heart. I know exactly how to stand and exactly when to move. I’m 100% prepared.”

This makes me nervous. Really nervous.

Why?
As a coach, it’s my job to help you prepare your pitch, presentation, or talk, right?
Right.
But guess what? I’ll never ask you to be 100% prepared.
Say what,mama?
Yup.

And this is why:

Life doesn’t work that way.
Life throws you curve balls.
And as a coach, I’m here to show you how to catch them.

The WIFI signal might drop in the middle of your talk.
Someone in the audience might have a coughing fit and have to leave the room.
You might hear a phone ringing or vibrating in the first row.
You might drop your cards (this is why I will always tell you to number them).
Someone will ask you a question that has NOTHING to do with your talk.
You will be so happy that there is a glass of water waiting for you, and then you will make a wide, sweeping gesture with your arms and knock it over.

I have personally seen all of these happen in my own talks.
You know what?
Wet notes suck.
Getting off track sucks too.
And if you are holding on to your talk, word by word, SO TIGHT, you’ve then lost everything. Your whole talk collapses because you don’t know how to cope with these spontaneous hiccups.

Be prepared for the unexpected.
Plan to be spontaneous.

When you leave room in your talk for flexibility, humor, and a spontaneous, honest reaction, people lean in. They realize you are human and dealing with something that interrupted you. You have your plan B ready to rock, and whip it out of your back pocket like a pro.

So, the next time you prepare, stay flexible.
Realize life gives you lemons sometimes.
But everyone loves lemonade!

If you’d like help shaping and sharing your story, I invite you to grab a ticket to my (scroll down on this link)  PPPP Masterclass (That’s Preparing Perfect Pitches and Presentations! Also for moderators!) It’s a dynamic and fun day, full of all my tips and tricks as a TEDx speaker coach, and it’s on May 9th, and 199 euros (that’s the Early Bird price, it goes up in January. Way up.).

What curve balls have you had to catch recently?
I’d love to know!

With love!
X buffi