When we perform as a professional no stone is unturned, no surprises unprepared for and everything is ready for action. That’s how a sports person gets themselves ready for a race or a match thats how a professional soldier or pilot prepares for a battle but sadly it’s not how we prepare for a sales meeting, a presentation or an interview and we wonder why we don’t always succeed.
In recent times I have been preparing for an event that is totally out of my comfort zone, a real stretch for me mentally, taking my fitness to new levels and challenging the physical boundaries of my own capabilities, I am over 21 after all! I’ve done extreme and endurance before and survived but not without taking a professionally minded approach to the whole set up and categorically not adding or changing anything at the last minute.
You wouldn’t and I certainly didn’t change my normal swimming goggles that I use for a new pair on the day we swam the English Channel – the risks involved here are high that something won’t work correctly. The bridge on your nose might be the wrong shape, the goggles themselves might be a slightly different size for my eye sockets or the seals because they are new aren’t working properly and cause a leak. Anyone of these issues could cause failure in that situation or at best just a very unpleasant journey and environment to be in. You don’t experiment or try something new on race day, on the event day.
In the world of speaking I have witnessed speakers using different untried slideshows, videos and media or just the simple clicker to move the slides forwards and back, and it’s all gone wrong for them. Everything in this world must be tested and respected in advance to prevent unexpected problems and looking unprofessional. The audience cringes and winces when the tech goes wrong for a speaker and more often than not it could have been sorted in advance had everything be tested. Just because the transition and video worked on your pc at the office doesn’t meant it work perfectly at the event, on their computer with their projector – I’m not the techie here, your reputation and professionalism is at risk if you get this wrong.
When we perform as a professional in whatever walk of life we live in we do all our experimenting before race day to enable the best possible outcome on the day without unforeseen problems occurring. Life and business is an endurance activity which means winging it is not an option – we could get away with something once on one occasion however in an endurance activity it’s the cumulative effect that finds you out if something wasn’t considered originally. Blister free feet that have never had problems before but then a simple new pair of socks is added to the mix and after several hours instead of running freely every step is painful – you’ll still get to then end but in what state?
The challenge here is to allow yourself every opportunity to perform at your best every time you step up to the plate – be that taking an exam, presenting to the board or running your own personal marathon. When we prepare thoroughly for all possible outcomes the confidence and self-belief levels grow proportionately, meaning you can succeed and overachieve within your stride – the time for experimentation and evaluation is in the training and preparation – nothing new on event day!!
If you’d like to know more about the latest crazy event feel free to look here – Scotland’s biggest one day multisport event – The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon – remember I’m not a runner, don’t really like it much and I’ve got to conquer 7 Munros back to back. Plus swimming across Loch Tay, kayaking down the loch and then cycling the whole way around it!!. And for good measure we are called the Quad100 because that is our combined age and the other teams will in the main be more like Quad50’s – Its all in a good cause! – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/Quad100