Today’s post gives you a short but effective exercise to make positive changes in your public speaking. You might think this technique only works if you’re the creative, arty type – this isn’t true! I’ve seen it work with many different personality types, from accountants to software engineers to teachers. I’ve also used it myself with great results.
Part 1. Imagine that it’s now some time in the future – a good time-frame would be six months or a year; don’t make it less than three months. You’re talking with a friend or family member – or writing them an email or letter – telling them of a breakthrough or success: a positive change in how you feel and think about public speaking. After having this breakthrough, whatever issues or challenges you previously had about presenting have basically disappeared. Focus deliberately on the positive aspects of what’s changed – the solution.
Consider these questions:
- How have you achieved this breakthrough or success?
- What’s shifted – both in your mind, and in the outside world? Think about all these four elements of change:
- What have you had to let go of, substituted or added to your life?
Part 2. Finally, and here’s the crucial part: what can you do both right now, and this week to bring this reality closer? As always, taking action will give you the results. And regularly check in and look at what you’ve written, to keep it in your mind.
That’s it! Doing this exercise is a brain-hack, and a hopeful thing to do, which encourages your mind to see opportunities and feel more positive about what you’re working towards. The research also shows that by writing down what you want, as opposed to imagining a conversation, it engages deeper parts of the brain. However, if the thought of writing it down puts you off and you’re dragging your heels, see if you can imagine having the positive breakthrough conversation with someone who cares about you and supports you. This will still help you, and can work beautifully.
If you do write an email or letter, you don’t need to show it to anyone if you don’t want to.
Doing this exercise doesn’t have to take long, you can make the email, letter or internal conversation as long or as brief as you want: just make sure you include both parts above. Why not give it a go?