In the Second World War, RAF pilots found their planes kept going wrong. There was no obvious culprit — it was like there were invisible creatures who went about sabotaging their planes. They called these invisible creatures gremlins. When it comes to storytelling, we suffer from exactly the same problem: our strong inner narratives, that say things like ‘Why are you speaking? You don’t know anything… Nobody likes you… Your voice sounds annoying… Just hurry up… you are boring.’ I believe if we tackle these fears and lies head on, it could transform how we present.
Make it a funny quirky name. Mine is called Ken. On “Sully and Stew” we had Rozelda, Barry … The list goes on. But make it a name that you can laugh at.
Ken says to me:
Just like a gardener dead-heads roses, it’s time to dead-head your gremlin. Because your gremlin isn’t real. But your inner narrative is. So write down three things that you would actually say to yourself to deadhead your gremlin. I would say:
Write these statements on a Post-it Note or card and have them in your pocket or above your computer.
Say these statements to yourself out loud just before you go into a meeting. Do this as often as you can and you will start to feel more confident.
Your inner narrative is strong, so every time you present and dead-head your gremlin you are creating a new inner narrative. It takes time and is not a one-hit wonder, but it will work.