Get Out of Your Head

Has this happened to you?

You step forward to give a presentation to a group, and moments before you begin you start to question yourself.

“Do I have what they want?”

“Have I forgotten something?”

“Am I right for this?”

If you’re an introvert, I know this has happened to you.

Truth is, if you just get out of your head and present to those around you, you will find the presentation will take off. Unfortunately, we introverts tend to stay in our heads. And that’s when things go wrong. I know. I’ve done it myself and see it happen time and again with other introverts.

“Do I have what they want?” 

Yes, introverts do have what listeners want. They have quality information, a sensitivity for what makes this information important and a humble approach to sharing it. But when we introverts question this, all of a sudden our plan goes awry, we stumble over whether it is good enough and avert our eyes from public connection because now we don’t want to feel inadequate in the face of others. Unfortunately, this is when our listeners begin to wonder if we have what they want.

“Have I forgotten something?”

Once we believe we don’t have what our listeners want, we go further into our heads to try to uncover what we should have been focusing on. We mumble while we dig around in our mind, looking for that thing, that piece of information that will save us. This process takes us away from our listeners. In fact, it keeps us from paying attention to them. This is when they begin to say to themselves, “Hey, I am here. Don’t forget about me. Look at me. Talk to me.”

“Am I right for this?”

Now we’ve done it. We have scrapped our planned message, we have abandoned our listeners and have suddenly realized we just want to get out of here. No longer trusting our instincts, we say apologetic things like, “that’s about it” or “I’m happy to answer any questions afterwards” and wrap up our message without looking anyone in the eyes.

What started the whole thing

1. You prepared well and then you forgot your value

You are thoughtful, organized and unique in your thinking. Unfortunately, you second-guessed yourself when the energy in the room made you nervous.

2. You focused on the wrong thing

When we introverts focus on ourselves, we question. When we focus on the listening audience, we relax into what they need.

3. You forgot meaning

There is meaning in our being where we are. When introverts get nervous, we lose sight of the meaning of the moment. And because meaning is important to us, when we look for it, it grounds us.

How to get out of your head

1. Spend quality time in your head during the planning phase of the message. Focus on the 3 questions “Do I have what they want? Have I forgotten something? Am I right for this?” to affirm you are on track. It affirms your value, your focus and your meaning.

2. Balance time in your head with time out of your head during rehearsal phase. Get on your feet and rehearse out loud. Look around the rehearsal space just as you would look around the presentation room. Be strategic about looking at people, getting comfortable with getting present to what is there. This gives you practice recalling your message while being present to what is there in your environment. It further affirms your focus and value.

3. Day of your talk enjoy both spaces– do a quick review of your message main points before you begin so you have quality time in your head. This will calm the destructive questions from overtaking you. Then, tell yourself you will be like a scientist, observing the impact of your message on those around you. Then get out of your head so you can notice the effect of your message. Your focus, your meaning and your value will resonate!


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On August 19th, 2014, posted in: focus, meaning, value by