It was all in my head

Tuesday I had the honor of being a guest on KING 5 TV’s New Day Northwest. I was invited to talk about social media etiquette. (See segment here.) This was my second time being on the show, and knowing what to expect and how to prepare made me much calmer. However, once I was sitting on stage with Margaret Larson, the gracious show host, with the cameras rolling my nerves awoke.

As I felt the pressure of speaking in sound bites to accommodate the short seven minute segment it felt to me that I was spitting my words out with no inflection and no personality. Further, I believed I was stuttering or struggling with many of my words and sounded like an idiot. When the segment ended and I left the stage, I thought I had really messed up, to the point that I was pretty down most of the day and avoided watching the taped segment.

Finally, I forced myself to watch the video. What I saw was very different from what I had experienced. I saw a poised, calm, mostly articulate guest talking about some helpful social media dos and don’ts. I was smiling. I laughed. Yes, I did have a few moments where I searched for the words I wanted and I used my hands way too much, but I simply said to myself, next time have your sound bites down even better and be less expressive with your hands.

What I experienced, is exactly what I teach those who seek speech coaching with me. So often people’s internal vision of themselves when they are speaking is very negative and does not match what the audience sees, which is often positive. When speakers can view a video of themselves speaking they usually discover they did better than they thought and realize the negative experience really is all in their head.

When I give trainings or keynote presentations my internal vision of myself is typically positive and matches the audience’s positive viewpoint. It was enlightening to have such a disconnect between what I felt and what was reality when I was on TV.

So dear readers, if you are faced with public speaking or being on TV, and that’s not a comfortable place for you, try to remember that what you’re experiencing internally usually is not what others are seeing. If you want help with feeling comfortable and confident with your presentation skills you know who to call.

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