English: Golf driving practice range with 43 l...

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If you play golf, it’s always a good idea to get to the course nice and early and hit a bucket of balls to get the cobwebs out.

Professional golfers do it, and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.

The reason we do this is to get the body into rhythm for the round ahead and to see if you need to make any adjustments to your swing or grip before you tee off on the first hole.

If you don’t do it, you risk embarrassing yourself in front of the clubhouse with your first drive, setting yourself up for a disastrous day.

This principle is important in other areas of life as well.

If you have a job interview coming up, it’s extremely important that you have a practice before you experience the pressure of the interview itself.

You really want to say your possible answers out loud before the big day comes, in case you need to make any adjustments before you’re under the microscope.

The same is true if you ever have to do any public speaking.

Make sure that you have a practice run (or four) before you stand up in front of your audience.

The joke you really want to use may seem funny in your head, but how does it sound out loud?  Better to crash and burn in the comfort of your lounge room than in front of a room of people.

Practicing the stories and analogies that you want to share will enable you to deliver them with even more confidence and poise, getting the pace, emotion and volume just right.

The rule for talking to any audience when the stakes are high and nerves will be evident should be this:

The first time you say something out loud should be in a safe place, not in a pressured situation.

Leave all of the mistakes for the practice fairway so that your performance is maximised when it matters.

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