How Is Your Self Talk Serving You?

I worked with a client recently who wanted to feel more confident delivering a speech. Perhaps you can relate to how she felt:

  • Unsure of what to say
  • Nervous at the thought of addressing an audience of 100 people
  • Afraid that her speech wouldn’t inspire and motivate the audience to take action

During our time together we created a clear outline for her talk and discussed strategies to manage her nerves on stage. She even had time during our session to practice.

As she spoke, she admitted her fears were elevated, she didn’t believe in herself. Her self-talk and thoughts were keeping her from feeling confident delivering this speech.

I stopped her and suggested she get curious about her self talk by asking the following questions:

  • Where is the fear coming from? (Did she have a past experience that kept her a little stuck?)
  • How is it serving you? (Does it make you feel confident or incompetent? Are the thoughts true?)
  • How else might you think? (Acknowledge the fear and then think about the outcome you’d like)
  • What actions can you take to ensure a positive outcome? (Need more practice? Support and feedback?)

She very much appreciated this line of inquiry. Turns out she had a less than satisfying public speaking experience in the past. This awareness allowed her to shift her thoughts and believe that the outcome of this speech, with the right preparation, could (and would!) be different.

Your thoughts are powerful. Take the first step to boost your confidence (in many situations) by acknowledging your thoughts, noticing how they make you feel and getting curious about them.

She sent me the following email the day after her talk:

Thank you for all your help!  The speech went so well. 98% of it was because you started me on the right track, got my thoughts together, and I practiced practiced practiced.  I also appreciated the advice you gave me about never leaving the podium before the speaker arrives on stage, and to always thank the speaker appropriately. I let the speakers know in advance of our tight time line, and the meeting flowed smoothly. I felt very confident, a first for me in that environment. Thank you again.  Your tips, suggestions and feedback were right on and so appropriate.


How you think about a situation will affect how you act in a situation. Do you have the tools you need to feel confident? Start by noticing your self-talk and get curious. Ask, “How is this serving me?” Then, figure out the best course of action to take to feel good about accomplishing your goals or tasks.

Your turn: How do you manage self-talk? Does your self-talk hurt you or help you?

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Need assistance with an upcoming speech or presentation? I now offer 1-1 guidance to provide strategies to manage your nerves, create a clear succinct presentation and present it confidently. Contact me for more information. I’d love to help you.

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1 Comment:

  • khurram

    very informative article so less sites on the net which have this type of valuable

    content.nice work admin.keep sharing.bookmarked it

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About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

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