Today I wanted to share with you my personal routine that I like to do right before I run a live event. Running a live event is one of the most exciting, thrilling occupations you can have.
In fact, helping people with your message and seeing the transformation right there in the audience, and then later on, bumping into people that have attended your events is something that really is one of the most inspiring things you can experience.
I have a personalised routine that I do before every event starting the day before, and I'm going to go through it with you step by step to potentially assist you to have a little bit more confidence, be a little less stressed, and definitely be way more prepared for the next time you hit a platform or for the first time you hit a platform.
People often ask me like what do I do the morning of an event. When I rock out, what am I doing? Do I do some meditation? Do I test the AV? Do I have any specific vocal exercise that I do? What are the staff doing? Are they sitting at the rooms? Are they talking to the radios? Are they getting the forms ready?
What happens from a logistical perspective, and what do you do during the breaks? What's going on? Are you chatting with people? Are you asking questions? What do you do after the event?
There's four steps that I like to follow for my own personal routine, and here's how it goes.
1. The Night Before Your Presentation
Step number one is the night before your presentation. Now, the night before your presentation, my advice is simply this. The first thing you want to do is review your presentation checklist.
You ideally will create a checklist that lets you know every single thing you need to have ready to go for your presentation like do you need your slides printed out? Do you need a special belt that you want to wear? Do you need to make sure that you've got your watch on? Do you need to make sure that you have testimonials printed? Do you need to make sure that your PowerPoints are working or the videos are playing?
The night before an event, review your checklist is the very first thing to do to make sure everything is packed and ready to go.
After you've reviewed your checklist, my advice is go over your speech, and read it out loud, and read out any notes that you have out loud as well. When it comes to being a presenter, I don't script every single one of my talks like if I'm doing an eight-hour presentation, I fully script the first couple of hours and the last hour or so, and the bits in the middle, I have a little bit on the fly, but I do read out loud my introduction, the very first thing I do when I get on stage.
So, read your notes out loud right before you go to bed.
The next thing you want to do is just review any of the slides that you've created, so your PowerPoint slides. Click through them, and then comes the fun part. Lie down in bed and get ready to go to sleep, but before you go to sleep, what you want to do is review any of your memory techniques that you've set up.
The night before I go to sleep is I review whatever memory techniques that I've done, and I review what I've memorised, so where I've placed the memories, and I just go through those memory techniques right before I go to sleep.
Now, I imagine myself delivering my talk, so before I go to sleep, with my eyes closed, I imagine myself giving my talk. I do that three times in three different ways, so I just imagine it differently. I imagine myself on stage, or I imagine seeing myself on stage, or I imagine someone that is a mentor of mine delivering my presentation.
Then, right before I drift off to sleep, I set an intention out loud by saying at least 20 times, "Slow down and connect. Slow down and connect."
That just allows me to drift off to sleep with a core idea that I want to slow down on stage and I want to connect with the audience.
2. The Morning Of Your Presentation
When I wake up the next morning is step number two, the morning of your presentation. Now, before you get out of bed, again, review your presentation checklist. Then, when you wake up as early as you can, basically, say that intention again, "Slow down and connect. Slow down and connect." We review our checklist to remind ourselves of our intention.
While we're still in bed, we close our eyes again, and we imagine ourselves giving our speech absolutely perfectly. You're not giving the entire speech like you don't spend eight hours in bed with your eyes closed.
You imagine going through the entire speech in about five minutes. You're going through the speech, but in rapid succession, so imagine giving your speech absolutely perfectly from beginning to end and take about five minutes to do that.
Again, right before you do get out of bed, what you want to do is read over all of your notes once again, so read them out loud, get it inside your mind, and just make sure you check any of your memory pegs too. What I do the night before my presentation and the day of my presentation first thing in the morning is very similar activities.
3. When You Arrive At The Venue
Step three is what to do when you arrive at the venue. Well, I've got a little bit of a system that I like to go through when I arrive at the venue. When I walk into the foyer of the venue, the first thing I do is I place my hand on my heart, and I remember what I am grateful for for having created an opportunity for me to go out there and share a message, so I'd go through the gratitudes, the things that I am most grateful for because it's difficult for you to be afraid and nervous when you're experiencing gratitude.
In fact, the way our mind and body is programmed and designed, we can't really have opposing feelings at the same time, so by connecting to a state of gratitude, listing the things that you're grateful for and why, you're grateful for being able to share this message, teach this content, meet these new people, it's a great way to just get the vibration right when you're getting ready to present. When I'm doing this, it only takes five deep breaths with my hand on my heart, and I just mentally list what my gratitudes are.
Next thing I do, I walk into the room that I'm going to be presenting. I walk into the space, and with a huge amount of certainty and out loud, I say, "This is my house." I just want to own that space, so I say out loud, "This is my house."
By saying it's my house, I allow myself to really understand that today, this is my house for the whole day, and the people that are coming along are invited.
They're guests of my house, and that allows me to change the vibration, the experience of the room to have more of an ownership around it. Then, whilst I'm inside the room, once again, I review my presentation checklist to make sure everything is there that I need.
Then, I do a process that is taught at acting colleges all over the world known as "lights on". We can shift your vibration, energetically raise yourself up to turn your lights on, so you start to emit an air of charisma.
People don't realise that we are energetic. We have high energetic days and low energetic days. I mean, we understand this concept. We've all been low before and we've all been high before, so you can do something where you move energy to raise your vibration to make sure that when you get on stage, you are electrifying, and you'll feel the room get a little bit lighter.
Once I've turned my lights on, what I do now is I start to own the space. That is a little bit quirky, but this is what I do. I walk around the entire venue, and I touch everything with my hand, and I say out loud, "This is my chair. This is my projector. This is my stage. This is my AV. This is my door. This is my table." Now, I know it's not my door, my table, my AV, and so on, but I say that it is.
It's known as naming and claiming a space, and actors all over the world do this when they walk on to sets because when you think about it, the sets they walk on, they probably haven't been on that set ever before, but when you watch the movie and they're in an office space, they're working on the phone or whatever that scene is, keep in mind that that's a set.
They don't work there, but they give you the feeling that they work there, that it's their space, and they do it by naming and claiming things, so at least we touch everything in the room and say, "This is my thing."
Once I've claimed everything in the room, you'll start to feel a whole level of confidence of the space that you're in. Once I've said it out loud and I've touched as many things as possible while I'm walking around, the very next thing that I do is I warm up my vocal cords. I go through about a five-minute exercise of doing different vocal activities and techniques to make sure that this muscle is as warmed up as possible.
As a professional presenter, you will soon realise that the most valuable part of your entire body is your vocal cords, and you want look after them as much as possible, so I do about a five-minute vocal warm up, and I make sure I avoid any water that has condensation on the bottle because when you see condensation on a water bottle, it means the water is cold. It's not room temperature, and cold water doesn't do you any favors, but make sure your vocal cords are warmed up.
Then, what I like to do is just see my talk in my mind's eye once again. I like to go through it again while I'm standing in the room, and I imagine that I'm staying in front of a room full of long lost friends. I then review any notes that I have. I review any of the memory pegs that I've set up, and once all of that is done, I am ready to go on stage.
4. Before Getting On Stage
Step four is right before I walk on stage. When the MC reads out my name and says, "Welcome to the stage with a thunderstorm of applause, Mr. Benjamin J. Harvey," at that point, there is one last thing I do in my routine. As soon as I'm ready to be invited on to the stage, I read my intention out loud, so I say again, "Slow down and connect." I also have on a little card, "Remember to smile." I have to remind myself to smile, so I'll make sure that I slow down and connect, and I remember to smile.
Then, what I do is I say inside my mind a little bit of a phrase that activates a movement in my body, so I do what's called a stage anchor.
If you've done any sort of fire walking, or board breaking, or arrow snapping, or any of these rapid confidence building techniques where you get in a peak state in a very short period of time, that's what we call a resource anchor, and for presenting, I have a specific one every time I present.
Right before I go on stage, I fire my stage anchor, and I get myself in a peak state, and I simply walk on stage and get ready to smash my talk out of the park, become present, and just enjoy the experience.
That is my routine. That is my entire ritual from end to end. It's the first time I've ever shared that with anybody. When you get on stage, just know that everybody in the room is going to be able to learn something from you, everyone in the room is going to get some value from you. Your message is important.
Your message is valuable, and always remember to just get up there, enjoy yourself, be present, and realise that every time you get on stage, you're going to go through an incredible transformation. You're going to get to know more of who you are. You're going to get to show up more and more authentically every time you do it, and it really is a wonderful gift to be in a position of leadership where you get to share a message and impact people all over the world.
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