I have previously written about the need or desire for some professional speakers to improve their optimism.
A group of national speakers association members included this trait in a brainstorming session I participated in.
I welcome you to take a look. You won’t like what you read.
I also shared a story that helped improve my, ahem, optimistic outlook on life. Or better yet, how it improved my optimism. It happened when I was in Manila.
A couple of weeks ago I was in Phoenix. And try as I might to be prepared and avoid all eventualities things will go wrong when they go wrong. (Does that make me a pessimist or a realist?)
An optimist does not expect that things will never go wrong, s/he will expect that they can resolve the issue no matter what goes wrong. That’s a real optimist, no?
In Phoenix, my computer went dead. For some reason that escaped me at the time the PC would not charge, and when it was charged it wouldn’t hold the charge … even it was plugged in!
Moments before I went up on stage, down it went. We tried everything. I looked the part of a bumbling old man. Old comes naturally, but bumbling … I didn’t need that.
Forced shut down, reboot, slow slow start, too much pushing of buttons, and and and .. all while hundreds of people who didn’t know me from Adam stared on. I could hear people sighing.
All the while I was thinking how I could make the presentation without the slides – which would have been a tremendous waste of efforts considering how much time I had put into them.
In the end … we got it going and I did my thing.
The real point: working through the adversity gave me confidence and a more optimistic outlook for come what may next time.
Interestingly – pushing through adversity makes us more optimistic. Giving in makes us pessimistic.
Don’t give in.
In my previous post I wrote about what it takes for a professional speaker to improve their optimism. You probably won’t like what you read, but it works.
Here’s a time when “life” happened to me and it threatened my optimistic look on life.
Truth be told, I don’t consider myself an optimist. I know Murphy’s Law. But I am not a pessimist either.
I am a realist who enjoys the challenges (sometimes!) that come my way regardless of my best efforts to avoid them.
I was presenting to a group in Manila not long ago. The organizers were great folk and had asked for copies of our presentations. And I obliged. Except for the part where I fiddled with my presentation up to the point of going on stage and did NOT sent the updated versions to the organizers.
The venue had a helper-bee standing by for any problems that might creep up. In my case she was a little college kid wanting to make use of her English ability in a volunteer capacity.
The only reason I knew she was there was because I asked her to bring me a bottle of water.
About a third of the way into my presentation my PC died. Black screen. Whoa!
I looked at her for literally a split second, long enough to say, “Can you bring up my copy I sent you?”
And I kept on talking, painting word pictures instead of pointing to points on the screen.
Seriously – less than 4 minutes later, she had the backup computer plugged in to the projector and my reserve slide presentation displaying. Out dated by a few revisions but plenty useful.
And I went on as if nothing had happened.
I don’t wish this experience on anyone, but the more this kind of thing happens and you get through it, the less fearful you are of future such events giving you, maybe even making you more optimistic.
Things do work out. But usually if you work them out.
In the feedback from the attendees somebody wrote: “How wonderful it was that the technical difficulties did not stop the presenter. Impressive.”
One of my agents notified me of these cruise ship speaker openings for a Special Guest lecturer early next year.
Feb 23-Mar 03, Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale / Eastern Carib
Jan 04-Jan 11, Roundtrip Miami / Eastern Carib
Jan 05-12, Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale / Western Carib
Feb 09-16, Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale / Eastern Carib
Mar 02-09, Roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale / Western Carib
Interested? Contact us to learn how to speak on one or more of these cruises and take a friend with you for free.