My youngest son is obsessed with football. He will quite happily watch any game that is on TV. He was watching a replay of Argentina vs. Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup (I really mean any game) and he started talking about a tournament that he’d played in a few weeks ago for his local club. It had gone to penalties in the quarter final and Toby, whilst on target, had shot it straight at the goal-keeper who saved it
This was a big thing for a 7 year old to deal with and it had obviously been on his mind so we discussed ways that next time, the goal would go in. We all feel under pressure sometimes, especially on days where we have a big presentation to make or we’re meeting new clients that we need to make a good impression with. How can we use that pressure to our advantage and not feel daunted by the task ahead?
Firstly, when you’re stepping up to the spot, it’s all down to your mindset. If you believe in yourself and your abilities at the job that you do, this is half the battle. Tell yourself positive things for example, a previous time a presentation went well and think about this rather than any negative thoughts that come into your head.
Secondly, know the opposition. Find out as much as you can about who else is in the room. What does their company do? Has anyone else pitched before - can you get feedback on that? Make any research count and use it to your advantage. The more prepared you are about your job on the day, the less nervous you should be.
Thirdly, take a few big breaths before entering the room. When we’re nervous we often forget to breathe. This is really simple but can have a big impact. It can calm us and our heart rates down allowing us to think about what we’re about to do with more clarity.
Lastly, shoot on target. By this I mean, stick to the theme of the presentation and give the client/audience what they have come for. Quite often the more succinct and on-point we are, the clearly the message being given. Don’t get distracted by something that is going on off the pitch.
Having researched it, the best place to aim for in a penalty is in any corner of the goal. With a lot of things in life though, it just comes down to practice.