Presentation Prep: When that little voice of self-doubt starts talking to you

I’ve been working with a bunch of colleagues to prepare a slew of presentations that will be delivered over the next several weeks. Several of my colleagues have expressed their concerns about whether they will be able to put on a good show for their audience. I, myself, have felt these same doubts about my own upcoming presentations.

As I was checking my Twitter feed last week, I was surprised to see similar thoughts of self-doubt coming from Jane McGonigal.


This, coming from a New York Times bestselling author of one book who has also delivered some of my favorite TED talks.

It made me feel better. It seems that everyone, regardless of how successful, has a little voice of self-doubt. It probably means that we really care about what we’re doing. That’s the good news.

The bad news, however, is that just because everyone has that little voice of self-doubt, doesn’t mean that, in the end, everything will turn out ok. I’ve seen many, many presenters who have voiced self-doubt… and in the end, that little voice was correct: their presentations were terrible.

Successful presentations are hard work. They take preparation, practice, creativity and the drive to prove that little voice of self-doubt incorrect.

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time came from Tom Hanks in A League of their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” He was talking about baseball, but these words are true for every profession.

When that little voice of self-doubt creeps in, it’s important to embrace “the hard”.

Come back on Thursday to read about 4 different ways that my colleagues and I have stomped out that little voice of self-doubt to create presentations that will excite and engage our audiences.

Know someone who’s trying to stomp out their own little voice of doubt? Pass this post along.

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