No Nerves Allowed on The Next Food Network Star

Okay, are you watching "The Next Food Network Star" on the Food channel?

This is my first year of watching it and I must say, I like it so much better than Top Chef on Bravo, mostly because the judges seem to want to help these chefs succeed. They give them suggestions and support rather than just tell them that their food sucks.

But I digress.

The Next Food Network Star is a reality show in which 11 chefs complete to have their very own cooking show on the Food Network, like Rachel Ray (who looked so much better when her hair was lighter) and Paula Dean. These 11 chefs are judged not just on how well they cook but on their ability to present their food with pizazz and personality. Basically, to show their star quality.

So, why am I talking about all this when I don’t even really like cooking all that much?

Because on the first or second show of the season, one of the chefs, Tommy  (here’s his photo), couldn’t stop his hands from shaking as he served his bouillabaisse. It was obvious that he was really nervous. So, at the time of the evaluation, just before they kick someone off the show, one of the judges, Bob Tuschman, told Tommy soemthing like, "Hey, even if you’re nervous, don’t show it. Don’t let us see it"

Basically, he told him to fake it. 

Now, you know my stance on faking it. I always say, don’t fake anything. Be real, be yourself, and don’t try to hide anything from your audience.  That old fake-it-until-you-make-it approach only reinforces the myth that you aren’t enough as you are. And it is this myth that causes the fear and anxiety most people experience around speaking in public.

But are there times when it is appropriate to fake it?

I’ll concede that there may be certain situations where it is best to fake it.


If you want to be The Next Food Network Star, and your hands are shaking, you better fake it or you could be a goner. By the way, Tommy got kicked off in Week Three, but NOT because he was nervous. I can’t even remember why.

So, okay, if you are auditioning for a big role and you need to appear super confident but you aren’t feeling that way, play the part. Take on that role. In this instance, your ability to fake it could be an asset rather than a liability.

But when you are speaking, you aren’t auditioning. You already have the part. And that part is being YOU, being real, being honest and saying it like it is.

If You’re Sick, Depressed, Angry or Out of Your Mind

If you’re sick as a dog, or you’ve just received horrible news, and you have a speech to give, slap on a happy face, and say to yourself, "It’s Showtime, folks! You never want to unload your bad mood onto your audience. It’s just rude. Nor do you want to tell your audience that you’re tired or stressed.

If it’s obvious that your sick, speak to it. You can tell your audience what’s up but don’t  apologize or make excuses. Just state the obvious. This can be a big relief to you and your audience, because if you’re feeling really bad, chances are they know something isnt’ right.

Before, Not During

The best time to fake it is when preparing for your speech, not during it.

That’s right. Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine being in front of your audience. You feel confident, fabulous. You are speaking with ease and having a great time. Let yourself imagine having the qualities you want to have when you are actually speaking.

By using your imagination in this way, you connect to your own inner confidence that already exists within you. You practice feeling it, being connected to it, having it when you speak. So, you’re not so much faking it as you are calling it up from within you.

So, there are times when you’re best option is to fake it. But I always say, why fake it when you can honestly and genuinely feel completely confident, no matter what? You can, you know.


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