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Publisher's Summary

Closing the sale. Asking for a raise. Nailing the big presentation. Of the 2,000 hours you work every year, your success or failure is determined in the couple of dozen crucial hours when you need to bring your absolute best. Will you?

The last few minutes before a major challenge can be terrifying. Ever wished you knew how to make sure you ace the make-or-break test, audition, or interview?

We often feel the most powerless just before we're expected to act powerful. As you'll learn in this life-changing book, practice might make perfect, but perfection is useless if you can't summon it when it counts. Pulling off a great speech or the pivotal at bat also requires the right kind of mental preparation.

In Psyched Up, journalist Daniel McGinn dives into the latest psychological research and interviews athletes, soldiers, entertainers, and others who, despite years of practice and enviable track records, will ultimately be judged on their ability to deliver a solid performance when it's their turn to shine. For instance, he reveals:

  • How Jerry Seinfeld's jacket and Stephen Colbert's pen help them get laughs
  • What General Stanley McChrystal said to Special Forces before they entered the battlefield
  • Why the New England Patriots hired the DJ from the Red Sox to help them win

Among other counterintuitive insights, McGinn reveals why trying to calm your backstage jitters can be worse for your performance than channeling it into excitement, how meaningless rituals can do more to prepare you in the final moments than last-minute rehearsal, and how a prescription from your doctor could help you unleash your best skills.

Whether you're a sportsperson or a salesperson, an actor or an entrepreneur, one bad hour can throw away months of hard work. There's so much conflicting popular advice that we often end up doing the wrong things. McGinn separates the facts from the old wives' tales and shares new research-driven strategies for activating your talent, optimizing your emotions, and getting psyched up to take the spotlight.

©2017 Daniel McGinn (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Performance anxiety can scuttle great opportunities to showcase your talent and work. Psyched Up is an essential user’s guide for ensuring you’ll be your best when you take center stage - whether the cameras are rolling or not!” (Katie Couric)

“Daniel McGinn takes readers into locker rooms, backstage on Broadway, onto the sales floor at Yelp, and inside the DJ booth at Fenway Park to discover the secrets of how high performers use psychology, superstition, and a surprising mix of other tools to get ready for the make-or-break events in their lives. It’s a fascinating read.” (Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better)

Psyched Up is filled with actionable, practical tips and tools to help reduce anxiety, lower stress, and build confidence. McGinn’s strategies can create a winning pregame routine for anyone.” (Arianna Huffington)

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What listeners say about Psyched Up

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  • Overall
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Fun to follow, easy to remember stories/techniques

well-rounded storytelling surrounded by data and research makes this book useful in all aspects of life.

2 people found this helpful

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mostly good

mostly good, but it ends as a love letter to drugs... I wouldn't want my children reading this book for the latter reason.

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good information and thoughts on the topic

good information and thoughts on the topic. good listen for all coaches and people that struggle with that nervous feeling before you perform.

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It's good

I enjoyed the book and especially the chapter on music.

The section on using prescription medication was my least favorite part of the book.

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Interesting

This audiobook talks about people and their pre performance rituals for boosting their abilities. I found it interesting.

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Ok; but felt weak

Each key topic is extended by stories, leaving me wanting to get to the core content.

Was reasonable, but not superb.

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I will use the tips in this book

pre-performance routines is something I haven't thought a lot about, but I really should have.
I'll be using the tips in this book to change that.

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it's good but could be great

t's good but could be great

read perofemance under pressure

thank you so much. h

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Outstanding Read (and listen)

What did you love best about Psyched Up?

Informative look at the applied side of mentally preparing individuals and teams to perform at optimal levels.

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Great info to learn

Just some good info and different way to look at motivating yourself and others. Would def recommend!