by Peter Watts
There is a parallel between enjoying presenting and enjoying the Holidays.
Every Christmas I have a melt-down. I enter the festive season resolving “This time I will not be a stress-demon by Christmas Eve.” Unfortunately though, year after year, I find a certain amount of difficulty in measuring up to the goal, and I know I’m not alone!
Why is it so many of us go nuclear the night before Christmas, and why is there a parallel to the world of presenting?
There comes a time when we become responsible for delivering The Holidays. Be it Hanukkah, Christmas, or Eid, we wind-up in that festive hot-seat, and if we’ve been fortunate in life, we’ve been set some pretty high benchmarks by parents and grandparents before us.
Now it’s our turn to create those traditions for new generations, and to honor the examples of the generations who have gone before. It’s a lot to live up to. No wonder we get just that tiny bit stressed!
My partner and I had the baton passed to us some eight years ago, and we’ve had some real festive disasters since! There was the year the tree fell-over during the gift-giving, glass baubles exploding in amongst the presents. And then of course the year that the incredibly elaborate French-inspired Christmas-meal arrived to the table not only cold, but congealed.
Oddly though, our guests keep coming back for Christmas Day, and not just for the comedy value. It would seem that despite our worries to the contrary, we’re doing a pretty good job of hosting the Holidays.
Those examples that we fixate on emulating? Those are examples set by parents who had a good forty years of practice before we took over the traditions. Compared to them, we are of the lowliest novice grade, and while it’s great to have high benchmarks to aspire to, we only get there by experience.
Presenting and the Holidays improve with practice. Every time out, we get that little bit better. The secret is to give ourselves permission to enjoy the journey, and that way, those who accompany us, be they family, friends, or audience, get to enjoy it too!
This Christmas, give yourself permission to “be in the moment”. Enjoy all the wonderful kitsch Holiday chaos that swirls around, and above all, enjoy those with whom you share it.
Wishing you Happy Holidays from The Presenters’ Blog