• Shua Dagg

Pre-performance ritual for confidence and authenticity. Start with "why?".

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

To be an entrepreneur, performing is required.


Actually, scratch that... to be a human, performing is required. Specifically, leading a conversation or act to convince an audience to trust you and/or take your desired action.


A performance may be a presentation, speech, debate, or anything that requires you to rehearse or prepare. Everyone has to perform to get what they want out of a person, situation or life.


If you have to do anything more than once, it pays to have a system for it.


I work as a sales management consultant and recently I had a biz meeting to share what I've learned while selling my client's product. Check out the company here if you'd like. I needed to convince the client's team to take actions that would help the company achieve its sales goals.


While I was prepping, I felt like an imposter trying to share recommendations and insights with my much more experienced team members. So I thought I'd step back and take an intentional approach to squash the feelings that didn't serve me, and create a ritual for all future anxiety-inducing performances. My system to feel confident and authentic performing.


Below is the short pre-performance ritual I created to help me understand...


Why am I putting myself through this?! What is my goal of performing?

How will I perform?


I created this ritual primarily by combining what I learned in 2 books. (Unfortunately, I don't have affiliate links set up yet, I'll do a blog on that later when I do...)


Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz: Create a performance ritual to get your brain and body prepared to achieve your goal.


Start with Why by Simon Sinek: Start with "why?" to determine and steer your mission and purpose. Then the "what are you doing?", then "how are you doing it?".


This ritual lives as a note on my phone. You can do it in your head before a big meeting. Or write it out to provide some clarity and untangle your anxious mind, as I do.


Follow the prompts to get the full benefit. It's not just a questionnaire, but a ritual to get you primed for success. To create confidence that you are being your authentic self by courageously performing.


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Pre-performance ritual

Work backwards first, from the end of the performance to the beginning. Answer the questions by embodying and feeling the answers. Stir up some passion.


After the performance...


Why did you perform?

What’s the end goal?

What’s your closer?

How will you feel when you finish?

How will the audience feel when you’re done?


During the performance...

Why are you performing this content?

Why is it engaging and effective?

What are you doing while performing?

How do you feel when performing?

How does the audience feel when your performing?


Start of the performance...

Why do you care?

Why should anyone care?

What’s your opener?

How will you deliver it?

How will the audience feel?

Now (before the performance)...

Why are you the best person for this performance?

What are you performing?

How are you going to perform it? Visualize it.


Now, run through the performance in order; "Now" to "After the performance". Read back up the list, starting with the why questions. If you need to smooth out some shaky answers, that's okay. Visualize yourself succeeding. Here are some prompts to help you be more specific:

  • Why are you the one to be the most impactful for this performance?

  • What are you going to do to be impactful?

  • What action are you going to spur the audience to do?

  • How will you and the audience feel throughout?

Let me know if this helps. And let me know if you have your own pre-performance ritual that helps you!



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