In this week's New Yorker, Alex Ross writes about Marlboro Music, an elite summer music program at Marlboro college in Vermont "where artists could forget about commerce and escape into a purely musical realm."
The summer seems to give the musicians a formative and utopian musical experience that carries them through the year:
"One musician after another says the same thing: from September to May, when they sit down to play in an antiseptic postwar performing arts center after an hour or two of rehearsal, they close their eyes and think of Marlboro."
Take a moment and think of a memory, an experience, a place where you felt in the zone. It could be a moment from childhood or an experience you had this week; an athletic or artistic or travel experience - just a moment when you were at your best and everything seemed to click.
Think of a word, a mantra, a motion that represents that experience for you and use it each time before you get up to speak.
I call this the Green Room Trigger. For the musicians in Ross's piece, their summer at Marlboro is that trigger - a memory that enables them to feel present and in the zone - even at potentially disheartening and unfulfilling moments.
From the Green Room: Find your Green Room Trigger - a word, mantra or motion that takes you back to a moment in your life where you were fully present. Then use this trigger before you get up to speak. Over time, this exercise will help you get in zone and be at your best each time you speak.