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How Do You Get Over Your Own Gremlins?

by | Oct 12, 2021 | 2 comments

“Is this the first time you’re giving this speech?” asked Jill, before I did my dress rehearsal to Jill and Barbara for an upcoming zoom presentation titled: ‘Albert Einstein – A Relative’s Theory on Handling Life’s Craziness’*.

I replied, “No.”

This weekly Speak For Yourself® Blog Series is all about how to communicate on the stage, in your board rooms, on your virtual platforms, in meetings and on email. You’ve gained insights on the how’s, what’s and why’s.

But I’m not sure if we’ve ever unpacked how to get back your mojo after you’ve screwed up in any of the above communication scenarios.

How I could’ve answered Jill: “Jill – I’ve presented my Einstein keynote many times from La Jolla to Chicago to Montreal to Las Vegas to Jerusalem to Phoenix. It’s been well received, except to one crowd. It was at the Marriott World Congress Hotel in Orlando in 2010 on the main stage at our  National Speakers Association Convention to 1,000 colleagues. Very Big Deal. Huge. NOT a place to fail. And … the speech did not resonate. It fell flat. And now, today’s dress rehearsal… it’s an updated version and many of the attendees in this upcoming zoom crowd were also at the 2010 Orlando speech.”

I decided that Jill and Barbara did not need to hear about my gremlins. BUT – maybe you do. Just maybe you’ve also had to face a group, again, after screwing up. How do you do it?

Some “How to get over your own gremlins” Advice

  • Admit when you’ve failed and figure out why it happened and how to recalibrate.
  • Talk to trusted friends/colleagues/mentors to gain insights; listen to their suggestions; and then embrace what works for you and gently lay aside what does not work for you.
  • Don’t give up. Sounds trite – but keep on keeping on.
  • Get better at your craft. Continue to grow. (I took improv classes, humor labs, kept speaking, consulting and writing, and I continue to attend almost every National Speakers Association meeting. Heck, I even became president of our own North TX Chapter of NSA!)
  • Move on.

With this blog I officially let go of the negative influence of that Orlando speech. You heard it here!! I will only add it to my many experiences as a speaker and use it as a positive learning tool.

So, how did my current zoom presentation go? I’ll let Patricia Fripp, Speaker Hall of Fame, answer this question.

“Your presentation was nothing less than life changing. Your storytelling agility and emotional connect are as good as any speaker I have seen. As you know I am a 44-year member of NSA and listen to and study speakers. You receive the ‘Fripp 14’ out of a scale of 1-10.
Feel free to use these comments to shamelessly promote yourself.”

Thanks, Fripp. I have!  😎


Karen Cortell Reisman Speech BookKaren Cortell Reisman book on selling*Yes, I’m related to Albert Einstein and this keynote is all about hope, resilience and brassieres. You’ll just have to hear it. You’ll gain strategies on how to handle life’s craziness.

PS: And, thanks to Barbara, Jill, Robin, Ann, Jimmy, Nina, Judy, Harriet, Penni, Neal, Ilene, Caroline, Tasca, Derek, Blake, Heather, Brian, Andria, Izzy, and many more who have been my past dress rehearsal targets! It takes a village.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself® , a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and cannot explain the Theory of Relativity.

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Photo ©: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_djvstock’>djvstock</a>


  1. Rebecca Williamson

    Thank you for sharing your foibles! We all need to remember that even professionals mess up! (Although I doubt it was as bad as you say!!!)

    Love ya! Rebecca

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Rebecca – While I am my own harshest critic, a bit of transparency & learning lessons can be helpful hopefully for others. Thanks for your comment! Karen

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