Leap Year Lesson #73: Rehearse, Practice and Train for the Next Time

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Preparedness
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As someone who has spoken in public countless times, I would not think of stepping up in front of a group without going through my prepared remarks or presentation several times in advance. Similarly, when I travel to a new city for the first time and choose to drive myself rather than take a cab, I usually scout out the route and parking options of my destination ahead of time.

Why? In the case of public speaking, it helps me to do my best for those I am there to serve. It allows me to rely as little as possible on notes, and to concentrate more on the content, the delivery and the people. In the case of scouting out a travel destination, it puts my mind at ease so that my focus can be on other matters when I actually reach my destination. The travel rehearsal isn’t always an option or practical, but I still do it when possible.

Having just completed the South by Southwest Interactive (SxSW) conference in Austin, TX, I can say that even though it had its share of frustrations due to size, geographical spread of venues, bad weather and transportation issues, I really hope to return. The content and variety of the sessions are incredible – second to no other conference I have ever attended. Once the weather improved and it was pleasant to walk around, I had the option to explore more and get a feel for the lay of the land. I know more about what to do and not do next time, where to stay and not stay, how to navigate between venues, what to bring and not bring, etc.

So this past week has been a SxSW rehearsal for me. I did some things just fine and flubbed others like a newbie is likely to do. But now I’m a lot better prepared for future years and I hope to take part in them for many years to come.

If you feel a bit uneasy the first time you do something, that’s normal. You’ll be experienced and equipped to do better next time.

Leap year lesson #73 is Rehearse, practice and train for the next time.

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