Learn how adding one word to your self talk can help you become a better presenter.

self talkRecently, at a networking event, I had the pleasure of speaking to lovely man called Peter Moore who runs a small domestic electricians business along with his son Russell.

We were talking about public speaking and he was telling me how he started out as a nervous and reluctant presenter and that that how, after forcing himself to practice, he now feels much more confident.   He then went on to share a little about his future aspirations as a speaker and I noticed that he used a particularly simple but powerful language pattern in his self talk.

He said that he wanted to be able to improvise and speak more spontaneously but he hadn’t quite got to that stage “yet“.

Our self talk is hugely important and the way we verbalise our goals and dreams plays a big part in whether we will achieve them or not. By using the word “yet” Peter was acknowledging the reality of his current situation and, at the same time, indicating that he would  achieve his goal in the future.   The word “yet”  contained the presupposition that the further improvement in his speaking ability was possible and would happen.

Contrast that with the self talk phrase “I’d love to be a more spontaneous speaker but I can’t do it.” The word “can’t” presupposes a lack of ability and offers no hope of future change. Take the same sentence and add “yet” to the end of it and the meaning is transformed.  Better still, remove the word can’t completely and transform the sentence into” I’d love to be a more spontaneous speaker but I haven’t mastered it yet.”

What are your favourite positive linguistic patterns and how do you harness the power of your self talk?

Gavin Meikle
The Presentation Doctor

1 Comment

  1. Fred E. Miller on 31/03/2011 at 16:56

    “The Road to Perfection never ends.” does it?

    Malcomb Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours to become an Expert.

    Most of us have LOTS of hours to go!

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