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Get into the Spotlight, and Enjoy Newfound Productivity

Get into the Spotlight, and Enjoy Newfound Productivity

Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
“One thing modeling taught me is that the spotlight can change everything.”
— Liya Kebede

This has to be one of the best self-inducing motivational techniques I know of. I have a fear of being humiliated, proven wrong or wasting people’s time when making presentations. Whether I was traumatized on stage as a kid or because I have impostor syndrome, when I am in the spotlight, I want it to be great. This happens whether I am doing a public webinar where I can’t see the attendees or at a conference with 300 people in front of me. I categorically need my material to be correct, interesting, and delivered in a “Steve Jobs” manner (he was a master at talking through slides while never looking at them).

How do you set this up?

Odds are you don’t have a speaking engagement on the topic or task at hand. But fear not, this is something you can easily set up artificially. Find an audience interested in your project. Depending on what it is, this could be colleagues, friends, even family members like your spouse or kids (children can be brutally honest with their feedback). Give yourself a realistic time frame to present, set a presentation date and go get it done. If you are like me, you will get motivated quickly as the idea of bombing a presentation in front of others is terrifying. After you do a few of these, you realize that bombing is only one piece of the puzzle, you will also want to sound smart, knowledgeable, and insightful. You will want to ensure that your audience learns something useful and actionable.

If the topic is of no interest to your family and friends, then find a meet-up group (I did a few on Python that way) or put up a few flyers at work and turn it into an educational lunch hour. You can even set up a free webinar using YouTube Live. Presenting to complete strangers is a powerful motivator and counting the incoming thumbs-up is a nice real-time perk. And if you aren’t comfortable with a live scenario record a YouTube video from the comfort of your living room and push it out there for the world to see.

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Manuel Amunategui

Twitter: @amunategui

Author of Fringe Tactics — Finding Motivation in Unusual Places
Alternative Ways of Coaxing Motivation Using Raw Inspiration, Fear, and In-Your-Face Logic