Public Speaking: A Mental Game First

Do you get nervous about public speaking? Or maybe you avoid it at all cost?

You might have a great story to tell or strategies to share. If you’re stuck in a cycle of “I can’t” or “what if” or “no way, not me” then how will your story get told?

Stacey Shipman Speaking

Public speaking is a mental game first

Public speaking is like running a marathon. When I decided to run my first marathon:

I had the urge to do it. I thought about it a lot. (Desire)

I needed to believe that I could do it. (mental game)

I made the commitment. I told friends and family about my goal. And more importantly I registered (ie, I spent money!)

I prepared my body. I ran, ran and ran some more. (boosting confidence, energy, endurance and stamina)

I participated in the event. (Goal achieved. Lessons learned)

Public speaking is no different

Have the urge. What’s the purpose? Think about WHY you want to share your story and strategies.

Believe that you can. Believe in your story and your ability to tell it to a group, an individual or in writing. Tell yourself, “I can do this”.

Make a commitment. Make the time, get support, get ready to do the work.

Practice. You don’t build confidence as a speaker by sitting on your couch. Just as a marathon runner trains to run 26.2 miles, you train yourself to become a better speaker. Hire a coach, join Toastmasters (my husband calls Toastmasters the “speakers gym”), practice at home. Practice, practice, practice. (Side note: Engage in regular exercise to boost speaking energy, endurance and stamina)

Communicate your message. Prepare your content. Allow for and learn from mistakes. Be human and allow for vulnerability to connect with your audience. Seek excellence NOT perfection. Relax and have fun. Celebrate success and review lessons learned.

Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, your right.”

If you think you can’t speak or you think perfection is needed before you do, you won’t do it. Shift your perspective and believe that you can.

Public speaking is a mental game first. Let your thoughts guide your actions.

Your turn:

What do you think? Do you let your thoughts keep you from sharing knowledge and adding public speaking to your marketing or services mix? How do you get your head in the public speaking game?

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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.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
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