How to entertain an audience in a time of personal turmoil
Have you ever been hit by an emotional boulder? Maybe you just got a disturbing phone call from a family member, had a fight with your significant other or a business emergency that shakes your emotional foundation like a southern California earthquake. You need some time to process and recover, right?
What happens if you don’t have the luxury of time?
You are required to speak in front of an audience in moments; they have expectations, and you have turmoil. The countdown to your presentation is on, what do you do?
Consider this your media emergency preparedness kit. I utilized these three steps myself recently, and I consider it a responsibility to share them. Realistically, at some point, we will each have to speak, present or participate in an interview when we feel like it the least. Having a method of quick emotional reset can save your opportunity and keep your bad day from going over the cliff completely.
Call your support. Immediately, make a phone call. Be it a trusted friend mentor or coach, make sure that this is a supportive, positive person in your life. If the first person you call is not available, do not put the phone down! Call another, instantly. You are pulling yourself out of the emotional waters right now, and you just need a hand to get into the boat… call until you find the available hand. You are not calling to vent or open the floodgates (you may already be at that emotional point); you are calling to get consolation and encouragement in the moment. Have them tell you that you can handle this situation after your presentation.
Do it for them. Mindset change…it’s about them, not you. You are there to serve this audience… it may be a live audience, a boardroom or a television audience, but you have been called to this opportunity to serve in some way. You have an obligation to share your message and better the lives of others. By focusing on giving instead what is happening to you, you will find that you have a better handle on the moment at hand.
Make an appointment to feel bad later. Remember how you could continue to play once the Snoopy Band Aid was applied to your scraped knee? It hurt less, but it still needed to be treated properly and given time to heal. The steps above are like the temporary bandage and are not meant to eliminate or diminish the value of the proper handling of an emotional issue. Make an appointment with yourself after the presentation to allow time to deal with the offending situation in a healthy way. This is your mental health and this appointment is very important!
You can still make good on a bad day!