YOU'RE A PIECE OF SHIT AND NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU.
This could be the most calming and effective mindset one can possibly have in my opinion. Yeah, it might be one of those lame shock factor kind of headlines... I recently bought a book called 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck' at an airport pretty much based on the title. "I enjoy the occasional swear! I'm totes going to relate to this fucking book." I digress.
The thought that no one cares about you could be instilled in one's mind for many types of occasions, from making a wedding speech, talking in a small meeting of 4 co-workers to writing uncalled for self help articles at 27 years old. Having the default mindset that you are kind of a piece of shit and no one really cares about what you're saying or doing allows you to free yourself up to relax, take risks, do what you want to do and say what you want to say.
Now of course people care about you... I was going to say, unless you're someone like Charles Manson, but no shit there is this young attractive mid-twenty year old that wants to marry that psycho, the world's fucked. But of course close ones care about your physical health, your mental health and all that feel good stuff. I'm focusing more on doing things in front of others that you've never met or the co-workers that don't really know you, they may mildly care for you, like would pull you back off the road if a car was swerving wildly but wouldn't have a beer with you on after work.
I want you to think back to the last 4 people you listened to make a speech or presentation at work? Also, the last time you went to an open mic comedy night and saw 7+ performers, who were they and what were their jokes? These questions are trying to lead you to an answer that's something like, "I don't remember Max, wow this guy is good." Yes, that is what I'm looking for, maybe 'great', not 'good' but that'll do. The point is as an audience we aren't that critical, seriously we aren't. We watch something and most of the time and either take it in or not even really pay attention.
Advice? Now you're either reading on and thinking, fucking Charles Manson has a hot 25 year old that wants to marry him and I haven't had a match on Tinder for 2 weeks... Or, he's 27 years old telling me what to do?? Go grow a beard you flog! Which, on a side note, I still actually can't do... Thanks genetics. My advice would be;
1. Be prepared. Minimise your 'I fucked it' by doing your research, getting your slides/jokes in the right order, rehearsing and knowing your shit. (Not 'you're shit', 'your shit' - big difference.)
2. Just get up there. Most good speakers and performers I speak with still get nervous beforehand, it's as natural as crying while watching Britain's Got Talent emotional auditions (don't watch hungover, you'll be a mess). Speakers and performers express to me their nerves beforehand all the time but how quite calm and relaxed they are once they are on, talking and speaking in front of people. I can say the same, once you are in front of people those nerves do go away and that allows you to calm down and do your thing.
3. Fuck fear. Ugh, it stops greatness every fucking day. The quote I love the most, which doesn't relate to this entirely but it's still worth hearing is from Jim Carey during a college graduation speech "So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality" - It's the best quote ever, and so depressingly true. Don't let fear of failure hold you back from getting up and blabbing.
4. No one really cares. It is the essence of what I'm saying, if you're really not into public speaking but have been forced to do it, just aim to be mediocre! Be boring enough that people tune out, don't try too hard or be who you aren't. If you're going up there being someone you're not, you'd be Donald Trump. (ooww #Political)
Anyway, as all of these articles I've written unfold, I mumble while kind of making a point through strange analogies, grammatical errors and careless cursing but it's the rambles that I am beginning to try and live by. Don't get me wrong, I still like to avoid public speaking. I've also done a bit of stand up but haven't for a couple of years, because of the fear and lack of preparation. I'm not above anyone, I'm facing the same shit everyone else is. I'm just beginning to enjoy telling people about these things and hopefully it helps someone get up and do what they want! Anyone want to start a cult? #CharlesMansonCallBack