During the AFC Division Playoff game last week between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, one particular play stood out. Just before halftime, the Browns' Rashard Higgins dove for a touchdown, but at the last second was hit by the Chief's Daniel Sorensen. The ball rolled into the end zone and out of bounds.
An obvious foul because Sorenson illegally hit Higgins with his helmet, the refs missed it. Instead, they called the play a fumble, no review was allowed, and the Chiefs were awarded the ball on a touchback. Not only did the Browns lose the touchdown, the Chiefs scored a field goal. But instead of acting defeated, the Browns used this unfair call to come back after halftime and make a touchdown.
How we treat unfairness defines our character. When speaking in public, your career will be marked by challenges and injustices. Build that notion into your expectations. Some presenters are crushed by negative reviews or missteps, and either avoid the stage or play it safe.
Following a presentation, we recommend a debrief, watching video or asking a trusted colleague. Focus on what you can do to improve. Weigh evaluations to bolster your progress and be the best presenter you can be. But never let bumps in the road hold you back. Critics and amateurs are quick to critique your cooking, but they can't take the heat in the kitchen. Bring the heat.