Would you like to hear a tip I guarantee will make a huge difference in your presentations? This may sound a little woo-woo to you, but bear with me - this works. If you already know this tip, please pretend you don't (sometimes when we already "know" something we may be less inclined to try it).
The two magic words are: Affirmation and Visualization. They both work. Affirmations, in the simplest sense, work when you say what you want to be true, with as much conviction as possible. For example, "I speak from the heart and connect with others, " is an affirmation I say every day. Visualization means putting yourself in the picture. For example, "seeing" yourself giving a great speech that inspires people is very powerful.
Scientific studies have shown that athletes who repeatedly visualize success have the best chance of winning when the actual competition happens. Those studies have also shown that visualizing something in the mind is nearly the same experience for the mind as experiencing it in real life - the mind doesn't know the difference. When the mind is used to winning, it is far more likely to "win" the next time. Same thing with failure - the more you visualize "freezing up" when you speak, the more likely it is to happen.
Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago conducted a study where he split basketball players into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make on the basketball court.
Next, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour for a full month.
The second group just visualized themselves making free throws, without any physical practice.
The third group did nothing relating to basketball - no practice, no visualization.
After 30 days, he tested them all again. The third group did not improve, as was expected. The first group improved by 24%. The second group improved by 23% without even touching a basketball!!!!
One of my personal affirmations is "I see others not by the shadows of their apparent shortcomings, but by the brilliance of their highest potential." You may wonder what that has to do with public speaking and presenting. Everything! Your attitude toward your audience will always show through whether you want it to or not. Ask me and I will be happy to share my other affirmations with you. As far as visualizing is concerned, before I go on stage, I imagine people entertained by my speeches, and I see them walking away afterwards with their lives positively changed.
Avoid negative affirmations or visualizations. Some people imagine themselves forgetting what they were going to say many times before they speak, and then they DO forget when they actually deliver their speech or presentation, because that's what they've practiced in their minds. Some people think for days about how nervous they are going to be when they get in front of a large group. When it's finally their "time," they are extremely nervous - just the way they practiced it in their mind. I can't even begin to tell you the number of people I've heard say "I'm really bad at speaking in public," or "I don't know what to say whenever I get in front of a group" or "I'm terrified when I speak in front of others." If they want a suggestion, I will then tell them to first of all stop the negative affirmations and replace them with positive ones.
If you remember and practice these principles of Affirmations and Visualizations, you will be more effective in your speaking and presenting, every time. You have my word on it.
Please let me know how you are doing with your communication, and let me know how I can improve my service to you.
Thanks for tuning in!
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