Little relaxes me more than cooking (usually on the weekends). I’m an enthusiastic cook, and I’ve become pretty decent over the past few years.
Sometimes after making dinner for me and my wife, I critique my own cooking. “It needed more acid, perhaps a touch of lemon,” I might say, or “I should have boiled the potatoes a bit longer before pan frying them,” or “It wasn’t flavorful enough. I wish I had added more curry.”
My wife always responded to my self-critiques by telling me how great the dinner was. In her typically kind way, she didn’t want me to feel badly about a meal that was generally good.
It took her a long time—several years—to realize that I wasn’t being hard on myself. I knew the food I had served was good. I wasn’t beating myself up. I was just commenting analytically, without any self-judgment, about something I knew I could do better.
My hope is that you’ll approach your self-evaluations of your performances during media interviews and speeches in the same manner.
Now, I know: If you’re like many of our clients, you may find it far too painful to ever listen to your radio interviews or watch tapes of your speeches or television interviews. I get it. But that’s a mistake. As uncomfortable as the experience may be, do it anyway.
Analyze what worked and what didn’t. Be completely honest with yourself, but try to prevent yourself from making sharply critical observations about your very being.
“I looked so stupid there!” should become “I need to work on my transitions from unexpected questions.”
“I sounded so boring!” should become “I’m going to do some vocal exercises to learn how to expand my range.”
“I have a double chin!” should become “I should read some blog posts about how to dress in a more flattering manner for my body shape.”
It took me a long time to listen to and watch my own performances without cringing. But I’m glad I forced myself to do so, as I’ve learned a lot from my imperfections along the way.