How To Create A Killer Pre-Performance Routine

Interview with Author & HBR Sr. Editor Daniel McGinn

The last few minutes before a major challenge can be terrifying. Ever wished you knew how to make sure you ace the make-or-break test, audition, or interview?

This week's Expert Series interview dives into the latest psychological research on pre-performance routines and how to ensure that when the big moment comes you're mentally prepared to succeed at the highest level.

Daniel McGinn is the Sr. Editor at Harvard Business Review and his newest book, Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed reveals why trying to calm your backstage jitters can be worse for your performance than channeling it into excitement; how meaningless rituals can do more to prepare you in the final moments than last-minute rehearsal; and how a prescription from your doctor could help you unleash your best skills.

To read more of Daniel's articles you can visit his column at Harvard Business Review. 

During this enlightening interview we discuss how anyone can use pre-performance routines and rituals to mentally prepare. Whether you're an Olympic sprinter getting ready for the big race or simply pitching your idea to the boss, the techniques are identical.

My favorite part of our conversation was hearing about everyone Daniel interviewed researching the book.  How West Point Cadets build confidence; how Jerry Seinfeld's jacket & Stephen Colbert's pen help them get laughs; why the New England Patriots hired the DJ from the Red Sox to help them win; and why Daniel writes his most important stories on a keyboard from Malcolm Gladwell.

Get ready to enjoy a wonderful conversation on the fascinating world of pre-performance rituals. Finally, you can jump to your favorite sections of the interview by clicking the timestamps below. Enjoy :)​

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[On Pre-Performance Rituals] There's no light switch you can turn on and off, it's more like a stereo you're trying to tune. You crank down your anxiety & crank up the confidence to get your energy level appropriate for what you're doing.

Daniel McGinn
Author & Sr. Editor Harvard Business Review

Wanna Skip Ahead? That's Totally Fine...

1:40 - Why did you decide to study pre-performance routines?
3:10 - How can we use pre-performance routines in everyday life?
5:00 - How do West Point Cadets build confidence
7:45 - How to prepare for a public speaking appearance
10:15 - Public speaking autopilot? Good or bad...
12:00 - Writing on Malcolm Gladwell's keyboard
13:45 - The best part about writing a book on an obscure topic
16:15 - What it's like to be the DJ for the Red Sox/New England Patriots
18:00 - If you could have a conversation with anyone
19:40 - How to find the book, more info about Daniel McGinn


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About the Author

Brandon & Sam currently live in Raleigh, NC and coach motivated professionals how to accelerate their careers, build quality relationships, and unleash their inner-awesome through teaching the secrets of charisma.

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