We’ve all heard the old Show Business axiom – The Show Must Go On – well it’s no different when it comes to public speaking.
There’s an old saying in show business – ‘The Show must go on.’
In essence it means, no matter what has befallen a production whatever has happened, the performance goes ahead.
Anyone who has worked on radio or television will tell you the same thing. You might be feeling wretched with a headache or had a major argument with your partner, but you carry on with your ‘performance’ as if nothing is wrong.
The theory is the audience have paid their money, or switched you on in the case of radio and TV, and they deserve your best – no excuses accepted.
The same goes if you’ve agreed to a public speaking engagement. A fight with the boss or crashing your car makes no difference. As long as you’re physically able ‘The Show must go on.’
Whatever you do though don’t share your problems with your audience. A. They didn’t turn up to hear your woes. B.They won’t care anyway and why should they?
You are there to perform, educate and entertain and if you really want to make it as a public speaker – Just Do It!
Now if you really know your subject and have practiced many, many, many times you should be able to deliver a compelling speech, and for the time you are on stage put your problems on hold.
Adopting that mindset you can compartmentalise your private life from your public life. In fact it might just give you a much needed break from your pressing issues.
The end result might not be your best performance but don’t beat yourself up over it. You had a reason to be slightly off your game. It’s just it’s not something to be shared with an audience.
I remember a former AFL coach saying a really good player is not one who plays a handful of exceptional games each season and mediocre ones for the rest. A really good player is one who narrows the margin between his worst games and his best games.
Same goes for public speaking – a great performance followed by a string of meh!! performances won’t see you climb the public speaking ladder. Make sure your worst performance is not much below your best.
You can’t control every aspect of your life, the unexpected will happen and usually at the worst possible time.
But when it comes to public speaking your regular preparation, rehearsal and practice will ensure that even in the worst circumstances you will be able to give a presentation you can be proud of.
Remember – The Show must go on!