Yesterday, it turned out to be a good thing that I didn't have all the details beforehand.
While preparing for an on-camera interview with a TV show that's looking for a public speaking expert to appear on an episode, I went over all my best public speaking tips and prepared to speak about my philosophy and my background, as requested.
When I walked into the room, it felt a lot more like an audition than an interview! The camera pointed at a lone chair in the middle of the room, while the other people in the room sat back several feet. Center stage!
For part of the interview, I had to speak directly to the camera. Another part of the interview involved a role-playing exercise for me to demonstrate my skills and my coaching style.
Why was it a good thing that I didn't have all the details beforehand? I would have been much more nervous!
I'm glad that I didn't know about the role-play, in particular, because it turns out that the spontaneous nature of the activity simulated the way I work with clients, which is what the interviewers wanted to see.
I don't recommend showing up for your presentations unprepared, but this was good practice for me to think on my feet and be completely spontaneous and unscripted -- it was a stretch, but a good one.
Have you ever had an experience where you felt you did better with less preparation?