This was something different!! In the hotel foyer I waited to be taken to the meeting room.
I was nervous.
From the moment I’d arrived my pulse rate had gone up … A LOT. I knew that if I walked into the room like that my face would be flushed and my voice would probably quaver. They would instantly know I was nervous.
I HAD to relax.
I tried the physical tricks. I exhaled and lowered my centre of gravity. My pulse rate didn’t slow. I had to work on my mental state.
“I’m very familiar with the material,” I told myself. “After all it is my own work. And I believe in it.” I recalled the advice from actors in the class that morning.
“Make sure you have fun.”
I started to make a list of the things I would enjoy. There were quite a few.
I checked that I had a clear ‘Conversation Goal’. It was fine. It was simple and active. It pointed the way to the difficulty I was exploring. I could build on that, I was sure.
Five minutes later when Trent came to greet me I was feeling better – a more balanced mixture of excitement and anxiety. Trent was facilitating this session – he’s very experienced. If I could just avoid getting flustered again, I thought I might be OK.
As we walked into the meeting room I made a point of looking around and feeling good about the space. “Yeah, this will be fine.” I cased the room to find the best spot to set up the camera. Then I realized I hadn’t packed the backup camera battery … but I didn’t panic. I simply I wandered around the room looking for a power point … just in case. Keeping busy stops me worrying about things that haven’t happened.
Once I started it was fine. The time flew by. I did forget to drop in “to share” – that was my planned ‘need’ for the session … oops. But my topic was “how sharing affected the nature of a conversation”. I was probably unconsciously aware of it anyway.
I discovered I’d made one more mistake. When Trent said its time to wrap it up I realized that … I hadn’t planned an ending!!! I was trying to stay cool … when Trent made me the perfect offer. “Tell us about how a conversation ends,” he said. That was a gift!! I breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a good end.
I was asked how I thought it went. My answer was immediate. By then I had been down my post-shoot checklist – I had an answer. “It was fine,” I said. I had …
- Stayed on my ‘Conversation Goal’
- I had shared my interest
- I had listened
- The next thing had been more important than the last
- There certainly had been a few surprises!!!
- And I had landed my ending.
WHAT DID I LEARN? It reminded me that I can never predict when nerves will set in. I just have to work at managing them when they do and make sure that I have a workable process in place. That is crucial. Making sure I actually implement that process is the next important step. Then listen and trust your colleagues. They’ll be keen to help. That is the way to work towards a performance outcome that delivers the goods. Worrying about it achieves nothing.
I don’t have experiences like that very often. But in the end I’d found it very useful. It was much like being an actor.