Stick with me for this one!
For some people presenting to 1 or 1000 is as terrifying as going into hospital for an operation is for others. When going in for an operation you can have the same thoughts and feelings, that can go through your mind when you are facing a presentation.
You stop sleeping because you are going over and over all the ways in which the surgery/presentation could go wrong, you go through every scenario.
What if I am late? What if, after all the preparation it gets cancelled at the last minute? What will happen to all the money I’ve invested for this presenting opportunity/ Operation, missing work?
What if they are unkind to me, with terrible bedside manner and not interacting with me /your listeners are not smiling, are shuffling, and generally looking disinterested?
Imagining them thinking you are a fool, that you ask ridiculous questions/you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.
The adrenaline starts to kick in and you start to sweat, your blood pressure goes up and your short of breath.
The good old Fright- Flight syndrome just kicking in from our cave man days. Very useful when there is a real threat to life (which for some surgery really can be) but….IF you can keep “All Eyes Off You” by remembering we are all just people doing our best. Trying to do our jobs the best we can, wanting to learn and be helped by others, it puts things into perspective.
In the case of presenting, you are giving your listeners a gift. You are giving them your help and knowledge and you can focus on them, not you. And in the case of surgery, well, I just have to remember the Doctors and Nurses are experts in their fields, are used to seemingly stupid questions and really want the best for me. They have a vocation and are there to help. I can just focus on the fact that they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers etc and wouldn’t be there if they didn’t care. So how can I take all eyes off me for the imminent hip surgery? By being more interested in how their day is going than mine! Roll on August…I’ll be up and dancing by then!