Sometimes it’s not the moments before a presentation, podcast, or speech when the stress hits you. Sometimes it’s after it’s all done that anxiety hits hardest: Was I rambling? Did I make sense? Did I really say that?
If you’ve been asked to be a guest on a podcast, even though it seems like it’ll just be a nice conversation, it’s still wise to be prepared. It can reduce stress both before and after your engagement.
I was recently a guest on the Don’t Be a Jerk at Work Podcast, hosted by the fabulous Tara Kemes and Sandy Gunn.
I *might* have some regrets.
I prepared for it. I had been given most of the questions ahead of time, which was really helpful. (Thanks Tara and Sandy!) I had a number of stories queued up and main messages I wanted to convey. Here is what my prep looked like:
Because of this prep, I had an absolute blast. I told a story off the top that I actually hadn’t planned on telling. (On re-listen, I can almost hear the gears turning in my head as I’m deciding whether or not to tell it.) But it worked out and it got me through the most stressful part of any interview: the first three minutes.
I practiced what I do for my clients: I prepared so that I could be myself. I had a great time. Still, I had some post-game regret about that story I hadn’t planned to tell. For me, there is always post-game regret, but I handle it better than I used to. Preparation takes care of a lot of it, but there are always things I think I could have said better, there are things I wish I’d said, and things I wish I didn’t say.
But now I don’t dwell on those. I learn from them, and I move on. In fact, that story is one of the best parts of this interview, but there are some pieces I’ll shift on next telling.
Like burning my hand on a stove element: I pull my hand away and learn my lessons. I don’t keep my hand on the burner anymore. Nothing is perfect. That will always be the case in conversations like podcast or panels.
Preparation helps. Learn your lessons. Don’t keep your hand on the burner.
It’s better to say something imperfectly than stay silent. This world needs you.
Get in touch if you’d like help preparing to be a guest for an upcoming podcast or panel.
Prepare to be yourself.