The blog post you are reading right now is the 777th post I have written for this blog. For over five years I have written two or three posts a week. For people who do not write a regular blog, this schedule seems daunting, and people often ask if I am ever afraid that I will run out of ideas. The truthful answer is yes, but the next idea always comes. Sometimes I have more ideas than I have time to write about and sometimes I am blank and have to go searching for an idea. I am not alone.
Sometimes we just do not know what to say.
Have you ever had the experience of working on a huge project for months or years? You are so proud of it. This project is high profile. It is time to launch and you cannot seem to construct a decent launch email to members?
Or it is time to get up in front of members at the annual conference, and you are not sure what to say?
Or this year the association needs to undergo a big strategic shift. You feel pressure to convince the board this is the right path but you are finding it hard to construct your opening remarks.
When the pressure is high, we sometimes draw a blank. Drawing a blank is normal however inconvenient.
One handy trick I have found for fighting the blank is to remove myself. I try not to think about what I want to tell the audience instead I put myself in their shoes and think about what they need to know. I think about how I want them to feel after they have heard my presentation or have read my post or interacted with my research. These mental exercises help me set an audience-focused goal and having that goal eventually removes the block.