And it doesn’t matter what the product is. It could be a car, a movie, clothing, a ballet, a song, this blog post, whatever. And, yes, even a presentation.
When the product reaches an especially high level of craftsmanship, it’s even easier to take it for granted. When it looks effortless, it looks easy. We sometimes even tell ourselves, “That’s easy. I can do that.”
But we can fail to appreciate the countless hours of planning, research, rehearsing, performing, building, and re-building — a lot of hard work — that went into making the final product look “easy.”
It’s frequently not until we try our own hand at it that we realize the mastery involved.
Think about performance artists like comedians, actors, musicians, painters, and many others.
Before we see comedians on an HBO special, for example, they have written, edited, performed, re-written, re-edited, and performed their material hundreds of times. They practiced countless times in private, in rehearsal, and on small stages long before they ever made it big.
The courage to create always begins with a single, small, first step. We decide what we want. We dedicate ourselves to the endeavor. We continue on the road, come what may.
Remember, once upon a time, Eric Clapton didn’t know how to play guitar, Beyoncé didn’t know how to sing, and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias didn’t know how to tell a joke.
As the philosophers say, courage is the ability to act in spite of fear, not in its absence. That’s why we talk about managing fear rather than overcoming fear.
One way to manage fear effectively is to appreciate the amount of work that goes into creating an excellent product. When we have no illusions about the hard work required for the task we set before us, we can get to work.
Embracing the process of working hard — preparation — is critical to reducing fear and getting the nerve to reach our goals.
As you work on your public speaking, remember that each presentation — regardless of the type — will require focused work with numerous adjustments being made along the way. That’s all right. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.