Take it Off-Line: Leave Your Mistakes on the Practice Court

I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.

- Will Smith

If the only time you field tough client questions or deliver presentations is under live conditions, then your worst responses and worst presentations are all live.  Borrow a time-tested strategy from the professionals and move this practice off-line. Actors have the rehearsal stage. Athletes have the practice court. Pilots have the simulator.

Off-line practice means off-line mistakes. And there will be mistakes. Pilots mess up in simulations all the time. In fact, that's the point of a simulation: to allow a risk-free environment for trial, error, experimentation, and learning.  The idea is to refine your performance with practice runs so that your live runs will be flawless.

If rehearsing for professional encounters sounds odd, consider that you do actually rehearse all the time. It's unavoidable.  You think things through in your head; you bounce an idea off a colleague. In fact, every time you re-tell a story, it's a type of live rehearsal.  Whether intentional or not, you practice such behaviors routinely.  And, after a time--a sufficient number of repetitions--those behaviors become habits.  For good or for bad. 

We propose accelerating that practice and rehearsal process and moving it off-line, away from the live encounter and onto the practice court.  And, most importantly, we propose you make it deliberate.

Today's tools (like ours!) allow us to migrate the approach of professional performers into the work place.  Communications trainers have long capitalized on video as a coaching and training tool.  Today there are options that enable you to bring these tools right to your desktop, and make the process 100x easier, less awkward, and even more powerful. 

When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.  "Easy" Ed Macauley, basketball player  

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