If you think back to some of the most enjoyable presentations and speeches you’ve listened to over the years, a few characteristics may stand out. The presenter was probably bold, dynamic, and entertaining. Funny, with a unique perspective and angle on things. Incisively intelligent, focused, with a sharply defined narrative and point of view.
This is what a great presenter looks like on stage. But what do they look like off stage?
When everyone else is getting drinks after dinner, they’re the ones that turn in early to get some rest.
When everyone else is getting that extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning, they’re at the gym.
When everyone else is committing to every meeting, phone call, and engagement, they’re protecting themselves and guarding their valuable time.
See, the very things that make a great presenter great on stage can make them seem very boring in real life. To be a great presenter—to become such a person that people would ask you to speak often and at length on important subjects—is to be committed to a level of excellence that the rest of us never bother to commit to. It’s why, of all the communications genres, we love working with presenters. Those who excel in this world are excelling, period.
Most people need a break from work to live their real lives; great presenters have a different view: what they are committed to accomplishing each day is the real life. Passion, occupation, and habits converge for these individuals, and it’s why we ask them on stage time and time again to hear their insights and apply them in our own lives, businesses, etc.
Now, none of this is to judge those of us with simpler aspirations for the proverbial work-life balance. Instead, this message is for everyone out there who’s life’s ambition is to be the very best in their field, and today’s question is for you:
Question: When everyone else has run out of energy, or is ready to unwind, how do you stay focused on your goals and drive yourself forward in the pursuit of excellence?