Wow! This was pretty painful. But I learned a ton, so hopefully we can use my mistakes as the crash test dummy and all learn from it.
Plus, it’s not fair to only post the good ones. So here is my version of crash!
First of all, I should have not done the speech at all. I had an inkling last week that it would be tough the day after the marathon, but I thought I’d be up for the challenge. When Friday hit and I hadn’t started rehearsing yet, I was nervous. I should have dropped out then, but I was stubborn. (I know, shocking to some of you.)
Should’ve, could’ve, right?
I rehearsed today for a few hours, but it just wasn’t enough. Even doing it 5 times perfectly in my apartment and on the train, it’s like cramming for a test and just hoping to regurgitate the material. I knew it in my head, but I didn’t know it in my body. It’s not enough when the nerves hit. And even after all this time, the nerves still hit. ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel prepared.
Another big point was the disclaimers I walked into the meeting with. When I met with my evaluator, I made sure to tell him I wasn’t ready. I scrambled to write a few notes down “just in case” all the way up to the calling of my name. None of those moves, obviously, winning over my subconscious on the “I got this!” train.
Also, I was so busy scribbling notes that I didn’t take a few moments to breathe and do my fave power pose (Amy Cuddy: wonder woman). So my mind was all a scramble when I stood to speak.
And the worst part about faltering in your speech is that it makes the audience anxious for you. So then it becomes this whole shit-storm of cyclical anxiety. I should have made a marathon joke, gotten my composure and, in so doing, invited the audience to trust me again.
Instead, I was apologetic and all a mess. So not me! (Well, mostly.)
Also, I don’t know where that eff-bomb came from, lol. I had only practiced “frickin'” the entire time. Now I know that those two are perhaps too close on the food chain to be trusted in a speech. Live and learn;)
I’m proud that I kept after it, and didn’t give up entirely. I’m excited that it just makes me want to work harder next time.
Sleep. Rehearse. Wash. Repeat.
Until next time.
I leave you with this: What have you learned from a recent fail? How has it changed you?