You think that if you practice like crazy you’ll get over your speech anxiety. You are correct, to a point. Practicing and preparing your company annual report is critical. But, are you also working on your mental game?

Your mental game plays just as important a role as your physical game in order to get your nerves channeled from negative to positive energy.

Here’s a simple mental technique that I used recently with a successful financial leader giving an acceptance speech. I call this the Memory Add-on Strategy. Click here for our other simple way to overcome stage fright.

I asked him for his worst speech experience. We’ll label this as his NMA (Negative Mental Attitude) Speech Memory. Then we talked about his PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) Speech Memory.

What I find is that you dwell A LOT on NMA Speech Memories, and hardly ever recall the PMA Speech Memories. You take those bad moments and they are repeated over and over in your brains. And, you lose the positive moment memories! You concentrate on what did not go well vs. when you shined.

Since these negative tapes exist (and they do get replayed) our suggestion is to attach the positive experience to the end of the negative tape.

This Memory Add-on Strategy of adding the good stuff to the already existing tape of the bad stuff changes your mental chemistry.

This altered mental chemistry changes your behavior in a positive direction.

Back to my client. He did NOT want to give this speech. He almost decided not to accept the offer to join this illustrious group. Whenever he started down the slippery slope of recalling the NMA Speech Memories he concluded his thoughts with his one PMA Speech Memory.

This mental exercise turned a negative into a positive. He gave the speech. He rocked.

Personal note: I want to thank Rabbi Shelley Zimmerman for suggesting this mental strategy to me. As I was grieving my mom’s death he suggested that I think about the positive memories from my mom’s last three weeks of life while in ICU. Believe it or not, there were some lovely things that happened but I had to really search for them. He asked me to tack those memories onto The Really Crummy Memory Tape When All Hell Broke Loose And We Realized We Had To Let Her Go. Even today, many years later, I use his strategy. It works for personal grief, any type of anxiety, and… yes… for giving a great presentation.

To discuss a customized Speak For Yourself® workshop or Star Ranch retreat on how to communicate formally, informally, and electronically – email Info@SpeakForYourself.com or call 972.490.8676.

#Speaking #PresentationSkills #BusinessCommunication #OrganizationalCommunication #Speaker

Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker

 

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