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Getting 'In The Zone'


Techniques Public speaking > Preparing Yourself > Getting 'In The Zone'

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Before doing a presentation it can help a lot if you get into the right mental state. This is typically a relaxed, focused place where you are confident and can easily remember what to say and how to say it.

A way of doing this is to imagine a time when you were presenting well. Think about how you felt, both mentally and physically, in your body. Remember the sounds and how you sounded. See through your own eyes in that memory, bringing in into now as you slide into it, like a familiar suit.

If you do not have such a memory, you can make one up. Another approach is to take on the 'suit' of somebody you know as a great presenter.


As I am sitting, waiting to speak, I close my eyes and remember a presentation I did to a small group about a year ago. I felt really buzzy and alive as I talked about a subject I really cared about. My young audience hung on my every word and we connected really well. I didn't overblow the speech, carving it subtly from the slides and the space in the room. I used careful pauses and looked around at everyone as I talked. I can feel that now. I am that now.


Mental states are curious whole-person conditions in which we think and act in certain ways. We can be an an angry state, a frightened state, a contented state and so on. We are always in some state or another. For presenting, the best state is usually one where you are feeling alert, focused, clear and also relaxed and friendly.

There are a lot of phrases used for the state where you are highly capable. Musicians call it 'In the zone' or 'In the groove'. It is a state that all performers seek as they know they can deliver their very best when feeling this way.

In some ways getting into the zone is like going into a hypnotic trance. This can sound scary but it is actually a place where you are more in control, not less.

See also


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