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7 Tips on surviving as a presenter

Training | Christopher Trodden | 10 October 2016
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7 Tips on surviving as a presenter

 

Why you can expect to be low the day after presenting and what you can to do about it...

Sunday is game day for me. It is for a lot of preachers and presenters. It is when we take the best we have to offer, share it with as much passion and hope as possible, pray that our audience is engaged and inspired, while holding nothing back in the process. It’s awesome!

Then there’s Monday.

I’m not a huge fan of Monday. Monday is quiet. Monday is low. Monday is when I’m feeling empty.

Why is this?

In the first four stages of preparing a message, our energy investment has peaks and troughs. But within a few hours of giving a presentation, all the adrenaline and serotonin that has been energising the process leaves. It just disappears. As a result, we can experience a huge energy crash. Often this leads to feeling low and a bit melancholic.

For myself, my energy comes down quite quickly. I used to worry about this crash. I would be susceptible to negative thinking. I would grade and assess myself very harshly. I would go over and over the points I missed or the slip up in wording that occurred. I just made myself feel terrible.

But the low after a presentation is predictable. It is a natural low. The body is simply going into recovery mode. At this point, our body’s main game is to restock our internal energy storage systems.

Therefore, let’s realise there are two game days for us to be at our best 1. The Presentation and 2. The Day after the Presentation.Time-management v energy management quote

Our energy goes up and down. We place huge demands on our internal energy systems at times – like when we are presenting – so it’s only natural to feel drained at times.

For example, it might only take me a few hours to prepare for a presentation, but it can take me twice as long, sometimes even longer based on the delivery time, to recover. One hour of presenting does not equate to one hour of recovery – it’s more like a 3 to 1 scale – for every 1 hour I give out, I need 3 hours of investing back into my mental, physical and spiritual life to recover fully.

Here are 7 things I practice to restore myself after presenting. I hope will help you recover as well:

  1. Expect the low. If we can expect it, we can prevent it (or at least combat it).
  2. Do an initial review of your presentation as quickly as you can, then don’t look at it for 24 hours. Allow some digestion time. Let things sit and simmer for a while before you delve too deeply into how you can improve.
  3. Create some space. I have heard it said on more than one occasion “we project ourselves 10% greater on stage”. Be it conscious or unconscious presenters often find themselves amplifying their personality, volume, hand gestures and energy in an effort to connect with their audience.
    Having space to transition out of ‘presenter mode’ is vital to our recovery. Intentionally creating a few moments of silence and stillness after stage times helps re-establish our normal equilibrium before entering into a time of recovery.
  4. Protect your emotions. Once you’ve poured out your soul and heart with passion, we are very vulnerable to criticism – even well intentioned feedback can hurt. So be very selective on who you listen too, especially if they are giving feedback: not everyone should speak into our lives.
  5. Do some exercise. Researchers say 30 minutes of exercise has the same effect as anti-depressants. A quick jog, bike ride, tasking the kids to the park can be just the think you need to restart your system.
  6. Eat well. I love what Dr. Axe says, “food is medicine”. So fuel your body with good antioxidants and stay away from sugar – a sugar low on top of an energy low only further compounds any low feelings you may have.
  7. Celebrate. Hey, you did a great job. Regardless of how well you delivered or resonated with your audience, you gave it your best shot. You had the strength to stand in front of a group of people, share your heart, and give them your best. It is an incredibly vulnerable space to place yourself in – so allow yourself to celebrate. Do something that fuels your soul, something that you love doing. Big or small, take the time out to recognise you were brave and had a go.

Today is my low. But not for long! After presenting for 3 hours straight yesterday, here is my recovery plan:

  1. Sleep 8 hours – done. The more sleep I get the less low I feel.
  2. Review done, filed, not to be looked at until Tuesday.
  3. Stillness – Last night I took 20 mins out to from the family to sit and pray alone in my office.
  4. Debrief with my wife. Done. She gave me great coaching on teaching in a way that protects my heart but grows my mind. What a gift!
  5. Crossfit training tonight – 1hr of fun /pain - fire up Trodden!
  6. Yoghurt and fruit for breakfast – champ!
  7. Going to celebrate by treating myself to a hot lunch today and watch a doco on Netflix tonight.

 

I’d love to hear if you experience this and what you do to recover.

So here’s to having a great Monday! Well done preachers and presenters - now go look after yourselves :)

Blessings -
Chris Trodden

Resource Production Manager
Australia Southern Territory

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