Talk to yourself before giving your talk

January 9, 2019 - 3:08 pm

                                          “The most important conversations I have
                                                   are the ones I have with myself.”

George Raveling, the legendary basketball coach, made the above statement while discussing the impact self-talk can have on attitudes and actions.

I often cite Coach Raveling’s comment when coaching people on speaking and presentation skills. Because what we say to ourselves in the days and hours leading up to our presentations definitely influences the outcome of those presentations.

If you keep telling yourself, “I’m nervous about speaking,” you’ll likely come across as jittery and lacking confidence during your presentation.

But if you keep telling yourself, “I’m excited about speaking,” you’ll more likely to come across as enthusiastic and confident.

If you keep telling yourself, “I’m worried about what my audience will think of me,” you’ll probably come across as timid and uncertain.

But if you keep telling yourself, “I appreciate that people are willing to listen to me and look forward to sharing my ideas,” you’ll prepare yourself to come across as a helpful advisor.

If you keep telling yourself, “I’m going to get found out as not knowing as much as people think I do,” you’ll come across as halting and unsure.

But if you tell yourself, “I know what I know — and if I’m asked about something I don’t know, I’ll say so and pledge to find the answer,” you’ll tend to come across as a secure, honest human being.

Of course no amount of self-talk replaces the need to prepare and practice for presentations. That’s a given. But augmenting diligent preparation with meaningful self-talk will head you toward a self-assured, successful presentation.

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