If you’ve ever crashed and crashed bad on a live-shot you know how awful that can feel. A lot of times if you go back and watch it afterwards it doesn’t look nearly as bad as it felt. We’re all self critical and certainly some more than others. To ease that anxiety expect “imperfection” when going live. That’s right; don’t expect to be perfect. The harder you try to be perfect, the less perfect your delivery will look. It’s one of those crazy performance issues that many on-air broadcasters face on a daily basis. They strive to make every part of their delivery perfect and while doing so, they lose the essence of looking natural. So, accept mistakes and let them roll off.
Years ago I trained someone who headed up a large corporation on the East Coast. When giving a speech he would totally fall apart and look like an absolute mess – certainly didn’t reflect his educational background or his status as a C.E.O. I spent three or four sessions with him going over various delivery techniques and then the big day came – a major address to the media. I had to go, to see for myself if he put all the training into place. Guess what, he did. It was an outside event and a page of his script flew away but didn’t bother him. He was smooth, conversational and totally in command. He simply could not have looked better. Afterward, I asked him what made the difference, what made him so much better? His response, “When you told me I didn’t have to be perfect that freed up all these internal expectations. I told myself that I could make a mistake and that was totally okay, it didn’t make me look foolish.”
To this day, I use that story in many coaching sessions. If you strive to make your on-air delivery or any type of performance “perfect” it won’t come across that way. If you make a mistake, let it roll off and continue. Keep in mind, the audience is extremely forgiving because no conversation is perfect. We all make mistakes and that’s simply a part of how we all communicate.