The movie just below is Michael Bay, director of blockbuster films like Transformers, walking off the stage of a Samsung TV Talk Tech Expo in Las Vegas because his teleprompter wasn’t working. My level of empathy is very high and it definitely piques when I see anyone, let alone a person who is used to addressing hundreds of people on a regular basis, become overwhelmed.
It’s a classic example of the power of self-consciousness, fight or flight, and negative self-talk. It can be overwhelming powerful. We experience an emotion, in Bay’s case- stage fright, and we can’t even answer a simple question. Bay could have simply taken a breath, asked to hear the question again, and answered the question. Like he would do if someone were asking him that very same question over dinner. No prying eyes on him. No drama in his head. Or perhaps a need to be perfect? Just authentically answering the question.
Make no mistake, it’s easy to judge in hindsight, but many of us have had some form of this Michael Bay experience in our lives. Many of us live in fear of it. But there are steps you can take. Techniques you can learn. Preparations you can make. So that you can deal with whatever problem arises when addressing others. To communicate with authenticity and command.
Here’s Bill Clinton speaking off the cuff, improvising while his teleprompter wasn’t responding.
It is my profound belief that the techniques Clinton is able to use can be taught. I’ve seen it first hand. You just need to learn the right lessons and practice.