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  • Alexandra Bond Burnett

How Lewis Hamilton can help you to prepare your accounting A-Game

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

What does it take to consistently deliver your best self for for most high level financial presentations?

Mental preparation is something every high performance sports person has to study in detail to get the best results they can give.

Mental Space + Environment/ High performance = High Impact Results

I'm not big on sports, but having worked on the London 2012 Olympic delivery in 2007, I found myself surrounded by entire teams that looked to design and build environments that created high performance outcomes.

Mental and environmental preparation is about understanding what it takes to really achieve your best in that moment when you need it most. Much like delivering a financial presentation that not only impacts the business, but also your career,

You need to be sharp, fully present and ready to react to whatever is around the corner. I'm milking the analogy, but, it works.

Take Lewis Hamilton - he just threw out the record book and became a 7 time Formula 1 champion.

You might not be a formula one champion, but you are there to get results.

Lewis knows exactly what to do to bring his A game to the table. Do you?

5 ways high performing presenters prepare their minds and environment for high results.

1) Speak for Success

Mindset is absolutely vital when it comes to presenting.

Firstly - before hand give yourself a stern reminder of why you are JUST the person they need to be listening to.

Recognise any doubts, and remind yourself why you are there.

If you are feeling imposter syndrome lurking - give yourself a credibility audit: list 5 facts that mean you know what you're talking about. This will help your brain separate the fact from fiction.

Next, comes to terms with the fact that you won't know everything. And that is perfectly OK. A little known secret about presenting - the most perfect speakers in the world are not perfect at their subject - they have mastered the art of saying "I don't know that right now".

2) Create time before your presentation for what you need

Any actor working in theatre, any amazing public speaker, will always have time to prepare before they head out on stage. this isn't for avoiding any lateness, of failures, but to 'get in mode'.

Write a list of everything you need to be at your best before you present. You could have anything on this list - it has to be for you. What do you need to be in total focus?

Here are a few that recent clients have listed:

  • Coffee

  • 15 mins of quiet focus time

  • Loo break (yep)

  • Time to review all notes

  • Stretching

  • Breath exercises

  • Make up

Many performers in sports and entertainment have a whole list of bizarre rituals they need to get into their best self. It's not all about following some fad - but learning more about what gets them in their best mode. This quickly becomes your preparation ritual. It can can 5 - 50 minutes but it's the actions that help your mind and body get in their best mode.

3) Check your levels

Lewis Hamilton has an entire entourage to make sure both he, and his equipment are fit for purpose.

Mindset takes take of your brain, but your body is as important when it comes to presenting and public speaking. Your 'engine' needs the following to be on top form for presenting:

  • Sleep

  • Hydration

  • Fuel

  • Equipment

Imagine you have a presentation tomorrow. What are your levels out of 10 in each of these?

Make sure you prepare to be able to prepare yourself physically

4) Physical preparation

Your body is the single most important bit of communication kit you have. Forget psychology or data charts - if you haven't given a thought to your body and voice you're already losing out.

The good news is that your muscles are versatile and complex - and the great news is that the more you get them working for you, the more you build up a muscle memory.

Very simple - your face, body and voice are your tools for delivery Given them a fighting chance with simple preparations:

  1. Stretch. reach your arms up and out and get the blood flowing in your limbs. Shake your legs out. Get moving just before you present.

  2. Stretch your face - try the biggest silent yawn you can muster and loosen out all the tension from your facial muscles.

  3. Hum from high to low. Through closed lips and with an open mouth. Both will warm your vocal chords and give your vocal quality a high level boost.

5) Watch your language

I see this all the time - self limiting phrases.

Often the language we use is actually creating a huge mental barrier, meaning you are limiting your success before you've even stepped into the zoom or room.

Give yourself a head set by adjusting your mindset.

Check in on your words. for example, saying I should, I would, I could... are all non committal. What happens to your mindset when you say "I shall, I will, I can"?

Imagine this...

"Hey Alex... what are your aims for the presentation tomorrow?"

"I would like to get the stakeholders understanding the cost–benefit analysis from new products in Q2"

It sounds nice doesn't it? As my high school english teacher used to say "nice" is one of the worst words in the english language.

" I will get the stakeholders understanding the cost–benefit analysis from new products in Q2"

Which sounds more likely to happen as you say it? Using positive affirmations create an open space in your brain to visualise

Preparation isn't just 'key' - it's the launch pad to successful relationships

Keep in mind these 5 points, and you will have given yourself and the numbers you deliver the best chance to make an impact with your clients and stakeholders.


What do find out more about how you show up as an accountant?

Get a free personalised review of your skills here: Accounting Communication Scorecard




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