Increasing your level of self-consciousness while you practice a new skill helps in the learning process and immunizes you against the intrusion of self-conscious thoughts when it is time to perform.
If you can’t practice in front of others, take advantage of the fact that videotaping yourself, while it initially heightens your tendency to be self-conscious, over time decreases your self-consciousness as you become desensitized to being videotaped or watched. Practice your presentation in front of a video camera. When it comes time to present, you will be less affected by the fact that others are observing you. Without these interfering thoughts, you can simply focus on your presentation.
Don’t lose sight of the point that videotaping yourself performing a skill that you already do well can be helpful, as well. A lawyer giving a closing argument to a jury may feel the pressure to perform and begin to think too much about what she is doing — and then stutter or lose her train of thought. If she practices and videotapes her closing argument several times, chances are she will develop her confidence to the point of having no need to observe herself when performing in court.
What should you do if you are called to give a presentation on the fly in front of management, or are asked to pinch-hit for a coworker on a sales call? Make a trip to the bathroom and practice for two minutes in front of the mirror. You’ll see your self-consciousness diminish and even disappear.
This is an excerpt from Performing Under Pressure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JP Pawliw-Fry is co-author of the New York Times bestselling book, Performing Under Pressure. He is keynote speaker, and the founder of IHHP, a global research and learning company that specializes in helping organizations and leaders leverage the science of emotional intelligence and performing under pressure. The research and strategies presented in the book, keynotes and in IHHP’s training programs have been leveraged by numerous Fortune 100 companies, including long-term relationships with Johnson and Johnson, PWC, Goldman Sachs, HSBC as well as Olympic medal winning athletes. (Co-author: Hendrie Weisinger.)
Co-authored by our own J.P. Pawliw-Fry, Performing Under Pressure will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and many empirically tested strategies to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure. For this book, we undertook a multiyear study of over twelve thousand people to answer the question: what is it about the top 10 percent of these individuals that helps them handle pressure more effectively and be successful? The book has been featured in featured in Forbes, INC., The Financial Times, Training Magazine and many more, and is a NYT and Amazon bestseller. Order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible or Apple ibooks.
Buy the book here!