This is a lesson that I’ve been learning slowly, and for a long time.
When presenting to a group or leading a training it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your own performance: Am I looking good? Am I doing well?
It’s also easy to focus on what you want to get from the people you’re working with – even if it’s just convincing them that you’re great at what you do… Or getting your kid to finish their homework so that you can tick a parenting box.
I’ve found it liberating to bear in mind – during preparation and ‘performance’ – that the thing I’m doing is for them, or for us, but never just for me.
What do I hope the people I am meeting will take away from this time that will help them?
What do I think the group I’m training needs to hear, and how can I communicate it so that they’re open to hearing it?
Even donors are looking for something: someone they can trust with their generosity. Confidence that their gift will have an impact. A story about themselves or their brand.
This is something that some people just get, and others (like me) find hard to do.
But when I focus on what will help the people in front of me I’m far more able to relax, and connect, to have fun – and the better we all do.