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?

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  • Great article! Saw tweet from Michael Hyatt. It's so much about being consistent, isn't it? I'm very grateful to have work that I love and hope to get to do more speaking in the coming years as well.

    The perspective of the article is a great reminder of what to shoot for. Thanks for sharing!

  • Many people have two lives. One is work, which a vast number actually dislike, even hate. The other is a private life, where they have fun and do what they want makes them happy. The really SMART people are those who have figured out how to make their "fun" life their "work" life. These people are not lucky. They just figured it out and MADE it happen. This group enjoys endless benefits. They never have to worry about "retiring", because that would mean qutting what they love doing. They do not need "things" to distract them boring work lives. Which means they need less money, which means they have less stress, which means they live longer, and work happily until they the day they die, when, hopefully, they have spent their last dollar. Just in time. Now finding space in this group, THAT is excellence.
    Colin Dangaard

  • Hi, many thanks for introducing us to the other side of the people who always leave us in awe with their presentations. Wonderful insight!


    – Akash
    authorSTREAM Team


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