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The One-Hour Prep To Prepare You for Anything

Spend the final 60 minutes before a big presentation making sure you’ll hit it out of the park


by Kara Baskin

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The big meeting that could nail you a promotion. The crucial presentation for your fledgling business. The final interview before you land that dream job. How are you going to get ready? Terri Trespicio, a coach, writer, and host of Solopreneur, says how you spend the final hour before the main event is criticial.

“Self-talk can be overtaken by a downward spiral of negative talk,” she warns, so can the empty pep-talk. “Talking to yourself can often mean painting yourself into mental corners.” Instead, make your prep time about action and reflection. Here’s what to do, easily accomplished in under an hour.

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1. Get physical. “All that stress in your body needs to go somewhere. You have to burn it somehow,” she says. “The body is a fantastic tool for getting you in the moment, whether that’s going for a walk or physically cleaning up your desk”—anything that can channel the anxiety. On that note: Skip checking email, which could trigger fresh stress.

2. Cue up a playlist. At the same time, listen to music that reminds you of a confident time, whether it’s a nostalgic throwback or a peppy tune you happen to love.

3. Breathe. Sit quietly for five minutes, focusing on your breath.

4. Call a friend. “Make sure it’s a good friend who knows you well but who’s not involved in this upcoming event—someone whose relationship with you transcends any one job. A good 10-minute catch-up with a good friend can help put everything in perspective and shrink things to manageable size,” she advises.

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5. Tune your brain to the positive. “Write down five good things that happened to you, that you couldn’t have planned for: Maybe you got a nice letter, bumped into an old friend and reconnected, found a pair of earrings you thought you'd lost, received great feedback on a project.” Trespicio says. “Next, write down five things you did that you’re proud of: Scored a new client, repaired a rift with someone, finished a project you’d been working on for a while, took a risk and met someone new.” The point is to show that great things can happen when you don’t expect them. “It’s an instant confidence booster and can help you recognize that you already have a solid track record. This next challenge is just another you will rise to meet.”

6. Knock ‘em dead!

Photo Credit: Noel Hendrickson/Getty