Bring About What You Think About When You Speak

The worst nightmare for anyone who has to speak in front of an audience is the one in which they “get a case of the nerves” and totally blow their presentation.

 

You know what I mean – the case of nerves that seems to take over your entire body. It starts out as “nerves” and descends rapidly into “abject terror.”

 
This is the reason the most people would rather be in the coffin than speak the eulogy.
 
When I say that “you bring about what you think about” when you’re speaking, there’s a very good reason: although the physiological response we are talking about happens in your body, it’s your brain that processes it and gives it meaning. It’s the meaning you assign to whatever is happening that creates your experience.
 
Don’t take my word for this – try it out yourself.
 
Do this experiment in the privacy of your own home – and make sure you’re alone when you do it. (Trust me on this one.)
 
Stand up and imagine you are speaking in front of an audience and that case of nerves begins. (Just think about the last time it happened to you – the feeling will come right back!) Now let’s do a body scan.
 
Scan your body:
 
Mouth? (Dry)
Armpits? (Wet)
Palms? (Wet)
Behind your knees? (Wet)
Your heart rate? (Fast)
Your breathing? (Shallow)
Knees? (Shaking)
And…
Your tongue? (Feels like your shoe)
 
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “This is bringing on a bad case of abject terror, so stop doing whatever you are doing – immediately!!”
 
Fortunately, this is just an exercise – so shake that off.
 
Move to another spot in the room and let’s try something else.
 
Remember falling in love? Remember when you knew you were in love, but you hadn’t shared that feeling with the other person yet, so it was your little secret space to inhabit for a little while? Remember that heady feeling that took over your whole body whenever the object of your affection entered the room?
 
Imagine yourself in that experience right now and let’s do another body scan:
 
Mouth? (Dry)
Armits? (Wet)
Palms? (Wet)
Behind your knees? (Wet)
Your heart rate? (Fast)
Your breathing? (Shallow)
Knees? (Shaking)
And…
Your tongue? (Feels like your shoe)
 
And that’s how you know it’s love!
 
Wait a minute… do you notice anything interesting here? It turns out that the physiological symptoms of abject terror when you’re speaking are an exact match for the physiological symptoms of being in love.
 
The good news is that you are completely in charge of what you think about.
 
So if you will believe for one moment that “what you think about you bring about” you actually have an escape plan from the experience of “abject terror” when you are speaking in front of a real group.
 
The minute you start to feel those physiological symptoms creeping in, say to yourself “I really LOVE this audience!” That ought to crack you up long enough to be able to relax and enjoy yourself.
 
Breathe out – give your audience a big smile – and give them some love.
 
It’s funny how doing that one small thing will make your brain work again and all of the things you’ve prepared to say will flow right out of your mouth.
 
Try it next time you speak – and let me know what happens!

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