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Are your beliefs setting you up for presentation success?

Are your beliefs supporting or hindering your desire to be a more effective speaker?

“What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.”

–  Oprah

Recently I was preparing a very bright and talented project manager to present at a conference.  She was extremely confident about her ability to manage complex projects.  However, her beliefs about giving presentations and her speaking ability were keeping her in a state of panic.

Some of the beliefs that were sabotaging her success included:

“I hate giving presentations.”
“I’ll never be a good presenter.”
“When people look at me, I get uncomfortable because I know they are judging me.”

So we challenged those beliefs and gave her some more supportive ones to use.  I call this shift of perspective precess “re-labeling”.  It is like pulling out a file from your file cabinet, getting rid of the current label and replacing it with a new one.  Thus labeling the file’s contents in a more positive and supportive light.

One belief that required re-labeling was that she worried about panicking and getting extremely nervous when people entered the room to see her present.  The new label: more people = more support and energy.  I then suggested that as people come into the room first make eye contact, then smile and chooseto see each individual a deliverer of that support and energy fueling her enthusiasm and pride in the project she will be discussing.

The result?  She said that she received many accolades and although she had a nice turnout, she actually wanted more people in the room.  What tremendous progress!!!

One of my favorite ways to challenge beliefs comes from a woman named Byron Katie.  She calls her process “The Work”.  When a belief causes you discomfort or suffering ask yourself these 4 questions then turn the thought around. The following are adapted from “The Work”:

1. It it true?
2. Can I absolutely know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is true?
3. How does it make me feel when I choose to believe this?
4. Who would I be, how would I be, without this belief?

Then turn it around and reveal a thought that is more true.

Example:

Thought: “I’ll never be a good presenter.”

1. It it true?  Yes, I believe so
2. Can I absolutely know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is true? No, not beyond a shadow of a doubt.
3. How does it make me feel when I choose to believe this? I get scared and anxious.I feel like a failure, like people are thinking I’m retarded when I present.
4. Who would I be, how would I be, without this belief?  I’d be relaxed and confident.  I would not let what others think derail me.  I’d be excited and enthusiastic about sharing what I know with the people that are interested in what I have to say.

Then turn it around and reveal a thought that is more true:

“I can be a good presenter.  With practice anyone can improve anything. I am in the process of becoming a good presenter.”

Let me know how this process works for you:

Contact Hilari at 602-330-4006.

If you have a question or comment, email hilari at hilari@HighImpactCommunication.com

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