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The Power Of Acting As If

Aug 17, 2007
Imagine this. You've been called on to give a presentation in front of your peers. You're well prepared for the presentation. And now, sitting in the auditorium, you suddenly are overcome with virtually uncontrollable anxiety.

'Why would these people want to hear me?' you ask yourself. 'What can I offer them?'

The Master of Ceremonies (MC) calls your name. You begin the endless, long, slow walk to the front of the room. With every step your heartbeat pounds faster. Palms are sweaty. Forehead perspires. Your knees shake.

Your breathing gets shallow. You check for the fiftieth time to make sure your presentation is still tucked away in your pocket. Every stair to the podium is like climbing Mount Everest. From the top stair you glance back and smile at everyone in the room.

The two hundred people in the room look like two million people. Can they see your nerves? You look at the walk you have to make to the podium: it looks like ten miles.

This is a critical moment for you. Of course you're not going to turn and run out of the room but if feels like literally every fiber in your being is keeping you from advancing.

But from the second that you step on the stage until the moment you've finished your speech and are stepping off the stage, you should do one thing:

Act 'as if'.

Act as if you are fearless.
Act as if you know exactly what you are doing.
Act as if you are the most successful person in the room.
Act as if you have spoken to larger crowds many times before.
Act as if you did not bother to prepare notes because your excellent message comes straight from your heart.
Act as if you are the CEO of the company.

When you act as if it means that you step across that stage and up to the microphone as if you own the world. When selling to a large crowd, acting as if means you walk to the microphone with the self-assurance that each person in the room has already bought from you.

Acting as if simply means living with the confidence that what you want in life and what you want to tell the crowd has already been achieved in your own life. It means that you don't have to be perfect. It means that you can model someone you think is extraordinary and act as if like they would in that situation.

Finally, the power of acting as if allows you to imagine yourself as greater than you feel you are. Most times we are too hard on ourselves. Acting as if can bring us much closer to how we'd like to be perceived by others. It's like trying on a colorful suit you might not normally wear and discovering, after taking the leap to buy it, that you look absolutely fabulous in it!
About the Author
Deborah Torres Patel is an internationally acclaimed expert on self expression, voice & communication. To receive ongoing tips & subscribe for complimentary online training to overcome, eliminate or dramatically reduce the fear of public speaking, sign up at
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