by Stephanie Bickel
You are getting ready to meet a new client who could change everything for your business – and your life. The stakes have never been higher. Your anxiety is sky high. The importance of public speaking is magnified. You keep getting distracted by thoughts about it. When you think about it, you feel uncomfortable, even nauseous. You cannot think of anything else. Stop yourself immediately when you notice this happening. Take a deep breath. Take time to reflect.
What thoughts are going through your head? Are they positive or negative? What is actually true and what is not true? What thoughts will help you perform better during this presentation? Mindset is one of the most common topics we address in executive presentation coaching. Get rid of the thoughts that are holding you back from being the best version of yourself on that day.
What thoughts could be better? You might be saying to yourself that you are not good enough for the job or you won’t be able to relay the information, your experience, or the benefits of your business well enough. These thoughts distract you from focusing on the task at hand. Transition your thinking instead to...What result do you want at the end of the presentation? You may want to move to the next step in the process or have the client sign the new contract. Or, personally, you want to be yourself during the presentation without any anxiety. Whatever your wishes are, start repeating them back to yourself out loud to reinforce the desired outcome.
What do you want to feel the next day? Envision yourself after the life-altering presentation. When you start to think about how you will feel the next day, you will begin to believe those thoughts now. Be the person on the day of the event that you are talking about the day after. Because feelings are created by thoughts, choose the thoughts to fuel the right actions and results. You might say to yourself, “I knew it was going go well. I am so proud of myself. Of course I did all that. I can’t wait for what’s next. He knows I am exactly what he needs. She is going to be excited by our vision.”
Now, stop thinking about you. Think about your audience. What do you want them to feel, think, and do? Focus on solving their problems and helping them reach their goals. This will keep you from over-focusing on the insecurities you have about the conversation. Plan for ways to connect with them during the conversation. People like to feel smart, successful, popular, high principled, and attractive. Use deep listening skills to accelerate this connection. Focus on their passions, loves, and dreams and repeat the words they use back to them. As you sync up with the other person, you will see your conversation progress to a whole new level.
Here you are. The day after the event. Imagine that everything happens just as you thought. How are you different? You are that person that delivered exactly what your audience needed to hear. You did it with no self doubt. You were confident. You listened. You offered solutions. You gave them hope. And, because you prioritized a positive mindset and the importance of public speaking, you achieved success.
Without developing the necessary communication skills, the ability to progress in your career would be nearly impossible. This underlines the importance of speaking skills to form connections, motivate change, and influence decisions. Be the change you want to be today and embrace the importance of public speaking for your career transformation.
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