How to do your best on stage?

By not trying to do your best. Sounds absurd, but it’s true. Let me explain …

The problem with doing your best is that you might be too busy doing your best. Instead of speaking, your mind is busy thinking about what your hands are doing, or how you’re pronouncing that word, or how you are standing, worrying about your posture, busy trying to avoid “uh”, and so many other things …

Trying to do your best causes stress.

The irony is that it doesn’t actually make you do any better. Go ahead, try it: Say hello to the next person you meet and give it your best. Try to give your best when you say “Hello”. Sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it? Somehow artificial. Stiff. Unnatural.

If you had just said it, if you had just said “Hello” it would have sounded so much more natural. So much more pleasant for the other person.

Giving your audience the best is a much better approach than giving your best. Because it is a more appropriate perspective. When you are concerned with your best, you are concerned with yourself. When, however, you are concerned with the best, you are concerned with the cause.

Give your audience the best you have to offer. Valuable knowledge, interesting insights, inspiring outlooks. But don’t worry about yourself on stage so much.

Sure, practice beforehand. Prepare well. Ask yourself whether the content is actually exciting. Practice even more. Get yourself a coach.

But when you go on stage, stop worrying about yourself. The more you are present in the moment instead of worrying about what to do in the next moment, the more you will get into a flow. The more you make it about the audience, the more it will be a worthwhile experience for the audience. The less you try to do your best, the more likely it will actually be your best.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz


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