Communicate Like It’s Opening Night!
You should treat every presentation, speech, or meeting as if it were an extremely important event in your career and your life. How does an actor keep up the enthusiasm, vitality, and energy in a performance when they’ve done it hundreds of times? When it’s a matinee in the middle of the heat of August? When they’re tired or nursing a bad cold? When they know the play is closing next week… or that night!
When you ask them that question, they usually reply, “Act like it’s opening night!” That’s what makes a good actor even better, and it can make you a better communicator. Of course we know that some interactions are more important: the keynote speech at a convention, the inaugural speech of a president, or the final presentation to a major client. but what about the casual conversation? The creative comment you make in a meeting? Something you say in a private conversation with your boss or your spouse.
There's a story which I heard about a major corporation. The highest ranking woman in the corporation started her path up the ladder by what she considered to be a routine and brief introduction of a speaker. Now the speaker she introduced was the Chairman of the company! But more importantly was his reaction to her words. He asked very positively, "Who is THAT?" She has had to climb the ladder of success by her performance, but that brief presentation opened the door to get her to the ladder.
Every interaction with another person or an audience has that possibility to make a significant change in your career or life. Now we don't always know when such an opportunity will occur or where it might lead. So the best strategy should be to ALWAYS say to yourself before EVERY communication interaction, "It's Opening Night!"