don't bring your personal dramas to the stage

What NOT to do! Don’t bring your personal dramas and grumpy pants to the stage!

No one is happy all the time, that’s for sure.  And honestly, no one expects you to be happy all the time either – unless you are the presenter at a meeting!


When you are running a meeting, delivering a presentation or a speech at a conference there’s absolutely an expectation that you leave your personal dramas behind. The audience doesn’t care about you, they care about themselves and they want to make sure that if they are listening to you it’s going to be worth it to them to do so. It’s not about you. It’s ALL about your audience.

– When you act sad or depressed, the audience will possibly feel sorry for you. You don’t ever want an audience feeling sorry for you.

– When you talk about a personal matter that’s bothering you it implies that this is what’s at the top of your mind, not the matter being discussed. This could cause your audience to feel like you don’t care about them and the outcomes of the meeting enough to get over yourself. Now they feel undervalued. You don’t ever want your audience to feel undervalued.


What should you do instead?

– You need to act like this is the best part of your week, month, maybe even year!

– You need to be present in this moment.  Focus on your audience, not yourself.

– Try and believe in your heart and soul that this presentation is the most important thing you are doing today.

– Remember to ask yourself: ‘What do I want my audience to feel?’, then make sure you feel it too. There are a whole lot of ways to make sure that you transfer the right emotion from yourself to the audience. A simple approach is to use the word. For example, work out in your speech where you want them to be happy, worried, concerned, optimistic, excited, compelled and at each moment where that’s the emotion you want them to feel, make sure you feel it too.


No one wants to listen to a ‘cup is half empty’, ‘downer’, and ‘negative’ person with personal issues! Remember, you have a choice about how you show up. You are ultimately in control of your feelings and emotions. Do your therapy in private, not with an audience.

Happy Presenting!


Note: If this post has raised issues or concerns about your mental health, the number for Lifeline Australia is 131114. Call them anytime to chat with someone who cares and can support you.


© Michelle Bowden 2020.  Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media.

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