One of the remarkable things about what I do for a living is the sheer energy required for it. You think I'm kidding? At the Radiology show this week, I gave 13 presentations a day. Yes, that's 13 ten-minute presentations, every day for four days straight. Fifty-two presentations between Sunday and Wednesday.
Am I complaining? Not in the least! I genuinely love what I do. I love getting up there and talking. I love hamming it up. I love getting the audience into the booth and getting them out of their trade show stupor and excited about the technology products I'm demonstrating. I like seeing a smile cross a bored face during a demo, and I love hearing someone who was tired when he walked in yelling out an enthusiastic answer to one of my questions so that he might win an iPod five minutes later. :-)
However, yes, it does take a tremendous amount of energy. And since not all of us are C.C. Chapman, how do we go about getting that energy when we have a schedule like that?
Well, here are my tips for getting it up (your energy and passion for your product, that is) when you just don't feel like it:
- Jump up and down a dozen times. Yes, in your suit. Yes, in your heels. For a variation on this, try jumping jacks if your clothing allows for it. Get that physical adrenaline pumping and get that blood flowing. Just bounce, bounce, bounce! It feels silly. Do it anyway.
- Smile and laugh like an idiot. Pretend you're on camera and have to fake laughing at a joke cue. Laugh like crazy. Laugh like you just heard the funniest joke. Pretend to laugh and smile. Feels oddly energizing, doesn't it?
- Answer the question, "How are you doing?" with "FANTASTIC!" instead of the usual "fine." Fake it 'til you make it. If you say it enough, you will eventually feel fantastic, no matter how tired you were to begin with. Seriously.
- Do a pirouette. Just for the heck of it. Doing something out of character for you can refresh you and your attitude in ways that formal presentation training can't.
- Love your product. Nothing replaces good, old-fashioned passion for your product or service. If you don't believe in your product, hey, you shouldn't be giving the presentations, should you? Remember why you do this and remember why your audience should care.
Yes, I really do these in the booth. Ask anyone. With my job, I can't afford a single yawn or even a so-so presentation--every single one needs to be dynamite and picture-perfect. What about you? What do you do to keep the energy and passion alive?