When your mind goes blank
Never take the mic if you’re not prepared!
To avoid ‘mind going blank’ or ‘drying up’:
1. The ‘mental rehearsal’ technique should help you avoid going blank. Rehearse your presentation many times before you give it for real:
a) in real time (set a timer if necessary)
b) if you make a mistake just keep going
c) not in front of a mirror
d) not in front of an audience
Every time you rehearse in this way you brain will commit segments (or sequences) from your talk to your unconscious mind. It’s a bit like when you learned to play a musical instrument, walk or drive a car. Your brain loves to learn. The more opportunity you give it, the more it will learn. This is not about ‘memorising’ your talk. It’s about enabling your clever brain to store chunks of your talk so that when you give your presentation for real, your brain will recall segments of your talk for you. The more you rehearse in this way, the smoother your performance will be come the day.
2. If you haven’t had time to rehearse and your mind goes blank during your presentation, go back to an earlier part of your talk. The audience won’t mind the recap (in fact, they may appreciate it) and probably won’t notice that you’re having a ‘blank’ moment. Hopefully, the second time around you’ll remember what you were going to say next. If not, just keep going and if nothing is coming to mind then wrap up!
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