Have you put your garbage out?

May 5, 2016

A few minutes before I was to go on stage recently, the MC who was introducing me glanced at the printed sheet in front of her, looked up and said: “You look so much younger in the photo here.”


I made a joke in response and then stepped on to the stage. Shaken but not stirred, as Mr Bond would say. Later I sent a text to my mentor about the MC’s quip. My mentor sent the most beautiful text back and concluded with a quote “Your better self showed up”. I joked and texted back: “Sometimes my better self goes on unexplained absences!”

When you speak for a living you have to recover fast. Seasoned speakers don’t let any mental garbage — the stuff rattling about in our minds – affect our performance. But it’s hard, and takes years of experience.

Our business success depends on being able to process the mental and emotional stuff that happens to us every single working day. It’s like putting the garbage out every week at home. Imagine if you didn’t!

How can we put the garbage out? We can use a mentor or journal our experiences. I also find running and exercise helps me process stuff. I solve all the world’s problems, not just my own, on a long run. (Now, if only the German Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, would call me.) Meditating, seeking other perspectives, and having a trusted partner to bounce things against all are possible strategies.

What about you; what are your strategies? Please share. I love hearing from you.


Dry facts and data fade from memory over time, but an engaging story is difficult to forget. In Hooked, communication and business storytelling experts Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu use real-world examples and proven, effective techniques to teach the skill of great business storytelling. They explain what good storytelling is, why business leaders need to learn it, how to create effective stories, and how to practice for perfection.

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