Many moons ago, I bought a California King sized Leesa Mattress. Rather than purchase a frame, I thought it would be cool and eco-friendly to build a bed platform from used shipping pallets.
A California King is 72×84 inches. Shipping pallets are 48×40 inches. Four pallets side by side is 96×80 inches.
If you do the math, you know that’s too big, so I pulled apart the pallets, cut the wood, and reassembled them. Unfortunately, the pallet platform was still too long and too wide and the bed didn’t quite sit right because some of the base pieces were 3.5 inches high while others were 3 1/4 inches high.
I decided to fix this issue this past weekend. I pulled apart all four pallets and separated all the wood into piles. I re-measured all the boards and bases and started cutting using my Japanese pull saw. The base pieces were particularly challenging to cut because I was cutting across the grain.
I also found the harder I gripped the saw and the harder I pushed, the harder it was to cut the wood. The saw would catch and yank the piece of wood back towards me. There were a couple of moments where I thought, “I’m going to pull this saw into my thigh and I’ll have to go the emergency room.”
I frequently had to reset. It was inefficient. And I was getting frustrated.
I took a deep breath.
I relaxed my grip and focused on pulling instead of pushing. Everything changed. The saw started cutting much more efficiently and effectively. It flowed.
The same goes for delivering your pitch or presentation.
If you have tension in your body, you’ll tighten the muscles in your neck, which means you’ll be pushing your voice, and you’ll end up physically and vocally drained. You’ll constrict your gestures, so you’ll appear unnatural at worst or your elbows will be glued to your sides so you look like a flailing robot at best. And ultimately, your body language will appear tight, so the audience will feel tight.
Take a breath. Release the tension. Let it flow.
With a tension-free body, you’ll find it’s easier to cut through the clutter with your message and deliver your pitch or presentation more efficiently and effectively.