You Won’t Believe How Self Talk Can Revolutionize Your Public Speaking Skills

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Written By Jim

Jim has been teaching meditation and positive self talk since 1982.

Unleash your true potential as a public speaker by learning to control your inner dialogue. Join us and become unstoppable.

Understanding the Importance of Self Talk for Public Speaking

You’ve made the decision to be a public speaker, and that’s incredible!

It’s a journey that requires courage, resilience, and a lot of self-belief.

Along this path, one of the key elements that you’ll need to master is your self-talk, the internal dialogue that plays in your head.

Affirmations and self talk for better speaking
Affirmations and self talk for better speaking

Overview of Self Talk and Its Role in Public Speaking

Self talk, in simple terms, is the conversation you have with yourself inside your mind.

It’s the comments, thoughts, and inner dialogue that you constantly have with yourself throughout the day. As an aspiring public speaker, your self-talk is essential to your journey.

Self-talk can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy when it comes to public speaking.

If your internal dialogue is full of encouragement, positivity, and resilience, it can push you to new heights. On the other hand, if your self-talk is full of doubts, criticisms, and fear, it can hold you back and make public speaking a daunting task.

Impact of Negative vs Positive Self Talk on Public Speaking Performance

The power of your self-talk in determining your public speaking performance cannot be underestimated.

When it’s negative, self-talk can sabotage your progress. You might think thoughts like, “I’m going to forget my lines,” or “The audience will laugh at me.” This thinking fuels anxiety and can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where your worst fears come true.

On the contrary, when your self-talk is positive and supportive, it propels you towards success. Imagine telling yourself, “I’ve prepared well, and I can handle this,” or “Everyone in the audience is here to see me succeed.” Such empowering thoughts boost your confidence, help you manage stage fright, and lead to a better performance.

As an aspiring public speaker, it’s crucial to become aware of your self-talk and learn how to shift from negative to positive.

This change in perspective can be a game-changer, helping you to recover from mistakes gracefully and grow as a speaker. Stay with me as we delve deeper into the common mistakes in public speaking and how self-talk influences them.

Next, we’ll dive into identifying common public speaking mistakes, and then, more importantly, we’ll explore how your self-talk can play a role in your response to these mistakes. After all, it’s not the mistake itself but how you handle it that truly counts.

Speaking made better with affirmations
Speaking made better with affirmations

Identifying Common Mistakes in Public Speaking

Mistakes are integral to any learning process, and public speaking is no different. As an aspiring speaker, you are bound to make a few errors here and there.

It is important to identify these mistakes, learn from them, and find ways to recover quickly and gracefully. Here are some common mistakes you may encounter on your public speaking journey:

Speech Content Mistakes

Public speaking starts long before you stand on the stage – it begins with the content you prepare.

A well-structured and engaging speech is your first step toward a successful presentation.

However, mistakes can sneak in. You might overload your speech with information, making it too dense for your audience to follow. Or perhaps your content lacks a clear message, causing confusion among your listeners. Remember, your audience is there to be informed and inspired, and your content should be tailored accordingly.

Delivery and Presentation Mistakes

Even a well-written speech can fall flat if the delivery isn’t up to the mark.

Common delivery mistakes include speaking too fast, not making eye contact, using too many filler words (“um”, “like”, etc.), or reading directly from your notes. All of these can make your speech seem less engaging and more disconnected.

Your delivery should be as captivating as your content to keep your audience invested in your words.

Interaction and Engagement Mistakes

Interaction with the audience is an essential element of public speaking.

It’s a two-way street, and the more engaged your audience, the better your presentation will be received.

However, ignoring audience cues, failing to answer questions adequately, or not involving your audience in your presentation can lead to disengagement. Engaging your audience requires more than just delivering your content; it’s about making them feel part of your presentation journey.

These are some of the most common mistakes aspiring public speakers make.

Now that you’re aware of them, you’re one step closer to mastering the art of public speaking. But remember, everyone makes mistakes. What differentiates a good speaker from a great one is how they recover from those mistakes. The key to this lies in the power of your self-talk. Let’s explore that next. Are you ready to tap into the transformative power of your internal dialogue?

Errors in public speaking don't have to hold you back
Errors in public speaking don’t have to hold you back

Link Between Mistakes and Self Talk in Public Speaking

Now that we’ve identified some of the common mistakes in public speaking, let’s delve into the essential link between these mistakes and your self-talk. Your internal dialogue greatly impacts how you perceive, handle, and recover from these mistakes.

How Negative Self Talk Magnifies Mistakes

When your self-talk is skewed towards the negative, every mistake seems magnified.

If you stumble over a word or forget a point, your internal voice may start berating you: “You’re messing up!” or “Everyone noticed that mistake.”

This line of thought escalates the stress you’re already feeling, making it harder to recover and carry on with your speech. The spiral of negative self-talk and mistakes can quickly turn into a cycle, each one amplifying the other, and severely impacting your performance and confidence.

The Power of Positive Self Talk in Error Perception

In contrast, positive self-talk can help you navigate mistakes constructively.

When your inner voice is supportive and understanding, keeping minor hiccups in perspective is easier. So, if you stumble, instead of thinking, “I’ve ruined everything,” you might tell yourself, “It’s okay, everyone stumbles sometimes. I can recover from this.”

This shift in self-dialogue allows you to manage the situation better, recover gracefully, and continue delivering your speech confidently.

Positive self-talk doesn’t mean ignoring mistakes, but rather viewing them as part of the learning process. It changes your perception of errors from dreadful obstacles to valuable learning opportunities, a mindset shift that is crucial for your journey as an aspiring public speaker.

Strategies for Better Self Talk to Gracefully Recover from Mistakes

Mastering the art of positive self-talk can help you transform your approach to mistakes, and the journey begins with awareness. The first step is to catch yourself when your self-talk starts turning negative and challenge those thoughts with more constructive ones.

In the next section, we will look at specific strategies you can use to improve your self-talk and learn to recover from mistakes more gracefully. These tactics will help you develop a more positive internal dialogue and resilience, empowering you to shine as a public speaker. Are you ready to harness the power of positive self-talk?

self talk and affirmations for better speaking
self talk and affirmations for better speaking

Practical Exercises and Techniques for Better Self Talk

At this point, you understand the impact of self-talk on your public speaking journey and are ready to enhance it. By employing some practical exercises and techniques, you can cultivate better self-talk and use it to gracefully recover from any public speaking mishaps.

Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques

Meditation and mindfulness exercises are among the most effective ways to regulate and improve self-talk. These practices focus on cultivating an awareness of the present moment, helping you to catch negative thoughts as they occur and to consciously shift towards more positive dialogue.

One simple technique is called mindfulness breathing.

Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and focus on your breath. As you breathe in and out, thoughts will come and go. Simply observe them without judgement. If a negative thought arises, acknowledge it and then gently bring your focus back to your breath.

With time and practice, you’ll find that you’re able to better control your inner dialogue, not just during meditation but in your day-to-day life and, of course, while you’re on the public speaking stage.

Affirmations and Visualization

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to encourage and motivate.

They can be incredibly powerful in shifting your self-talk. Begin by identifying negative thoughts that commonly arise, then craft positive affirmations to counteract them. For instance, if you often think, “I’m going to forget my speech,” you might develop an affirmation like, “I am prepared, and I remember my speech clearly.”

Visualization is another powerful technique. It involves picturing in your mind the successful outcome you desire. For public speaking, this might mean visualizing yourself confidently delivering your speech, handling mistakes gracefully, and receiving applause from your audience. Regularly practicing visualization can help rewire your self-talk from fear and doubt to anticipation and confidence.

These are just a few practical techniques you can use to improve your self-talk. Remember, like any skill, cultivating positive self-talk takes practice, but your effort will pay dividends in your journey as a public speaker. Up next, we will discuss how to measure your progress and success in cultivating better self-talk. Are you ready? Let’s keep going!

Measuring Progress and Success in Cultivating Better Self Talk

As with any skill, progress in cultivating better self-talk can sometimes feel slow or hard to measure. However, just as you can track your development in public speaking, you can also gauge your improvement in self-talk. Here are a few ways to measure your progress and celebrate your successes:

Frequency of Positive vs Negative Thoughts

One straightforward way to track your progress is to monitor the frequency of positive vs negative thoughts.

This involves becoming more aware of your inner dialogue, recognizing when a thought is negative, and consciously shifting towards more positive thinking. As you practice mindfulness and use affirmations, you’ll start to notice a decrease in the number of negative thoughts and an increase in positive ones.

Response to Mistakes and Setbacks

Another important measure of progress is how you respond to mistakes and setbacks.

When you make a mistake in your speech, do you immediately berate yourself, or do you respond with understanding and resilience? As you improve your self-talk, you’ll notice a shift in handling these situations, moving from harsh self-criticism to supportive encouragement.

Level of Confidence and Performance in Public Speaking

Your confidence and performance as a public speaker are the ultimate test of your progress.

Are you less nervous when you step onto the stage? Do you handle mistakes with more grace and recover more quickly? Has your overall performance improved? As you cultivate better self-talk, you’ll see positive changes in your public speaking skills, which will, in turn, further boost your confidence and performance.

In the end, remember that cultivating better self-talk is not about achieving perfection, but about progress. Every step you take towards positive self-talk, no matter how small, is a victory worth celebrating. So, pat yourself on the back for the effort you’re making and the progress you’ve achieved so far. You’re on the right track, and I’m here cheering you on.

Are you ready to explore additional resources to help you further on this journey?

Public speaking affirmations
Public speaking affirmations

Additional Resources to Cultivate Better Self Talk

Your journey to cultivating better self-talk doesn’t have to be a solo venture. There are a multitude of resources available that can support you in enhancing your self-talk, boosting your resilience, and improving your public speaking skills. Let’s delve into some of these:

Books and Audiobooks

Books and audiobooks are a treasure trove of knowledge and guidance. There are many fantastic titles dedicated to the topics of self-talk, resilience, and public speaking. Here are a couple of recommendations:

  1. “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” by Shad Helmstetter delves deep into the concept of self-talk, providing practical strategies to shift your internal dialogue towards positivity.
  2. “Talk Like TED” by Carmine Gallo offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most impactful TED Talks and provides insights into delivering powerful presentations.

These books can offer valuable insights and tips that you can apply in your journey.

Podcasts and TED Talks

Podcasts and TED Talks are another excellent source of inspiration and learning. They can provide you with access to experts and thought leaders in the field, giving you a wide range of perspectives and strategies to consider.

Try “The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills” for practical advice on public speaking, or “The Science of Success” which often explores themes of positive psychology, including the power of self-talk.

Online Courses and Workshops

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of structured learning. Online courses and workshops on platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or MasterClass can guide you through the process of improving your self-talk and public speaking skills. Many of these courses provide practical exercises, feedback opportunities, and a community of learners to support and inspire you.

These resources can significantly bolster your efforts to cultivate better self-talk. Explore, learn from, and apply their lessons in your journey. Remember, the path to better self-talk and becoming a resilient public speaker is a marathon, not a sprint. And with every step you take, you’re making fantastic progress. So keep going, keep learning, and keep speaking. I believe in you, and you should too!

Wrapping Up and Planning Your Next Steps

We’ve explored a lot today, diving deep into the concept of self-talk and its impact on your journey as an aspiring public speaker. Let’s summarize what we’ve learned and start planning your next steps to continue cultivating better self-talk and gracefully recovering from mistakes during public speaking.

Summing Up What We’ve Learned

We started with understanding the common mistakes in public speaking and how negative self-talk can make those mistakes seem bigger than they are. Then, we discovered how positive self-talk can help us keep mistakes in perspective and even use them as learning opportunities.

We moved on to explore practical exercises and techniques like mindfulness, meditation, affirmations, and visualization to improve our self-talk. Then we discussed how to measure our progress and success, highlighting the importance of celebrating every step we take towards positive self-talk.

Finally, we looked at additional resources such as books, podcasts, TED Talks, and online courses to further support our journey.

Next Steps to Take

  1. Incorporate Mindfulness and Meditation into Your Routine: Start by setting aside a few minutes each day for mindfulness breathing or another meditation technique that resonates with you.
  2. Create and Use Affirmations: Identify negative thoughts you frequently have and create positive affirmations to counter them. Use these affirmations daily, especially before and during your public speaking engagements.
  3. Practice Visualization: Visualize yourself successfully delivering a speech and handling mistakes gracefully. This technique can help boost your confidence and transform your self-talk.

Keep the Momentum Going

Remember, cultivating better self-talk is an ongoing journey, not a destination. It’s about consistent practice and progress. Don’t be discouraged by occasional setbacks or slow progress. Keep applying the strategies we’ve discussed, keep learning, and keep practicing.

You’re well on your way to becoming a more resilient and confident public speaker. I’m proud of the progress you’ve made so far, and I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next. You’ve got this! Let’s keep moving forward together, shall we?

More confidence helps your public speaking
More confidence helps your public speaking

Related Articles From Around The Internet

If you want to learn more about better self talk for public speakers, here are some articles that you might find helpful:

10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

This article from Harvard DCE offers practical advice on how to overcome nervousness, know your audience, organize your material, watch for feedback, let your personality come through, use humor, tell stories, and use effective language when speaking in public. It also includes examples of famous speeches that illustrate these tips. You can read it here.

How to Pump Yourself Up Before a Presentation (or Calm Yourself Down)

This article from Harvard Business Review explores different pre-talk rituals that can help you prepare for a presentation. It covers empathy rituals, exertion rituals, spiritual rituals, and mantra-based rituals, and explains how they can affect your performance. It also suggests experimenting with different methods to find what works best for you. You can read it here.

A Guide to Confidence in Public Speaking

This article from Throughline Group provides a comprehensive guide on how to develop self-confidence in public speaking. It covers aspects such as eye contact, body language, humor, clarity, conviction, and audience focus. It also offers tips on how to deal with mistakes and handle questions. You can read it here.

3 Speeches to Inspire Your Own Public Speaking

This article from Harvard DCE analyzes three speeches that demonstrate effective public speaking skills. It focuses on how the speakers use delivery, structure, and connection to engage their audiences and convey their messages. It also highlights the lessons that you can learn from these speeches and apply to your own presentations. You can read it here.

20 Public Speaking Tips With Great Examples (for 2022)

This article from Visme offers 20 public speaking tips that cover various aspects of preparing and delivering a speech. It includes tips on how to choose a topic, research your audience, craft an outline, design visuals, practice your speech, overcome stage fright, and more. It also features great examples of speeches that illustrate these tips. You can read it here.

Affirmations for Public Speakers: Before, During, and After Your Talk

Harnessing the power of affirmations can truly revolutionize your approach to public speaking.

These powerful statements can reduce anxiety, boost confidence, and enhance your overall performance by reinforcing positive self-beliefs and attitudes.

Let’s dive into a list of affirmations you can use before, during, and after your talk.

Affirmations for Before Your Talk

Start preparing mentally long before you take the stage. Use these affirmations to instill confidence and set a positive tone for your performance:

  1. I am fully prepared for my talk.
  2. I am confident in my abilities as a speaker.
  3. My words will inspire and engage my audience.
  4. I am calm, composed, and ready to deliver a great speech.
  5. I am excited about the opportunity to share my knowledge.
  6. I am passionate about my topic and eager to communicate it.
  7. My message is important and worth sharing.
  8. I am fully capable of handling any challenges that may arise.
  9. My voice is strong, steady, and confident.
  10. I am going to deliver an amazing talk.
  11. My thoughts are organized and my presentation is polished.
  12. I am proud of my work in preparing for this talk.
  13. I am resilient and ready for anything.
  14. I believe in my message and in my ability to communicate it effectively.
  15. I am going to make a positive impression on my audience.
  16. I am relaxed and focused on my upcoming presentation.
  17. I am going to enjoy this experience.
  18. My audience is going to find my talk insightful and valuable.
  19. I am thankful for this opportunity to share my ideas.
  20. I am going to shine on the stage today.

Affirmations for During Your Talk

Affirmations during your talk can help maintain your momentum and keep you grounded.

They can help you stay focused, connected with your audience, and responsive to any unexpected turns:

  1. I am confident and in control.
  2. I am connecting well with my audience.
  3. I am delivering my message clearly and effectively.
  4. I am staying focused and present in the moment.
  5. My audience is interested in what I have to say.
  6. I am handling this talk with grace and poise.
  7. My words are flowing easily and naturally.
  8. I am keeping my audience engaged and responsive.
  9. I am flexible and can adapt to any changes.
  10. My audience appreciates my insights and perspectives.
  11. I am effectively communicating my key points.
  12. I am confident in handling questions and interacting with my audience.
  13. I am making a positive impact with my words.
  14. My audience is resonating with my message.
  15. I am remaining calm and collected, even under pressure.
  16. My pacing is just right, and I am delivering my talk smoothly.
  17. I am fully engaged in this moment and enjoying the experience.
  18. My body language is open and inviting.
  19. My message is coming across as intended.
  20. I am providing value and making a difference with my speech.

Affirmations for After Your Talk

Once your talk is over, affirmations can help you maintain a positive mindset, learn from the experience, and prepare for future speeches:

  1. I am proud of my performance today.
  2. I delivered a successful and effective speech.
  3. I connected well with my audience.
  4. I am becoming a stronger speaker with every talk I give.
  5. I handled the challenges of my talk with grace.
  6. My audience appreciated and benefited from my insights.
  7. I am thankful for the experience and what it taught me.
  8. I am excited about how my speaking skills are developing.
  9. I am becoming more confident with each talk I deliver.
  10. I can handle any speaking challenge that comes my way.
  11. My public speaking skills are improving every day.
  12. I learned valuable lessons from this experience.
  13. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge.
  14. My efforts in preparing and delivering the talk paid off.
  15. I handled my speech with professionalism and confidence.
  16. I am excited for my next opportunity to speak publicly.
  17. I am becoming a more effective and impactful speaker.
  18. My abilities as a speaker are recognized and appreciated.
  19. I am ready to use the lessons I learned today in my future speeches.
  20. I am continuously growing and evolving as a public speaker.
affirmations for better public speaking
affirmations for better public speaking



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