This, naturally, means there are lessons you can reflect on if you’re involved in the competitive world of bids and tenders.
Many of us struggle to remember the names of winners of previous series. Ask us who came second and we haven’t a clue. With a formal tender there is one winner and one shot at being the winner. So, if you’re going to take part, leave nothing to chance with your preparations.
But Even Losers Learn
Contestants can’t deliver the top performance every week (some never do); but there’s always something to learn. Being honest about things that went wrong and where you should have done better is the first step towards improvement.
Improvement is Always Possible
Learn how to Listen
‘Strictly’ judges always tell contestants how they need to improve. Learning how to listen, take the advice on board, and not jumping into self-justification or disagreement will help you improve. Always ask for feedback on your bids and be objective about what you’re told.
Whether you agree with the ‘judges’ or not is irrelevant. They are telling you what they want to see and you’d better listen.
Play to your Strengths
The professional dance partners are highly skilled at observing the strengths and weaknesses of their celebrity partners. They devise clever routines that avoid things they find difficult and allow contestants to look as good as possible.
In any bid you are likely to have strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your strengths shine through and try to make the decision hinge on the things you are good at.
Judges have Different Perspectives
Craig gave it 4 and Bruno gave it 8. This doesn’t mean either of them is wrong - they were just looking for different things. The client’s team will have several members. They will have their own interests and priorities. There’s no point in getting full marks for one aspect of the bid if one of the panel members doesn’t see anything they like.
You Can’t Win in Week 1
But you can certainly lose. As with a lengthy bidding process there can be many stages. Give it your best shot at every stage to make sure you stay in the contest.
You Can Achieve More than you Think
How often do you see somebody without much dancing experience really excel? Think of some of the previous winners: Mark Ramprakash, Chris Hollins, Darren Gough. They probably never saw themselves as dancing champions until they committed to giving it a serious go to see what they could achieve.
The Right Training is Vital
All of the winners will tell you that they couldn’t have done it without their professional dancing partner. It’s more than just having expert guidance; it’s also about the personal chemistry that makes somebody receptive to advice and motivated to improve. Without expert input to push you on it’s too easy to settle for mediocrity and something that’s ‘good enough’ (which hardly ever is).
Perform Under Pressure
Success or failure is all about the performance on the night. Knowing your routine so thoroughly that you don’t have to think about the next step is essential. That way you won’t slip up and you can relax a bit more and express yourself.
If you need to make a presentation, you need the same level of preparation, practise and confidence.
So there you are. No need to feel guilty about watching ‘Strictly’ on Saturday evening - it’s just work, after all.