Think Yourself to Speaking Well

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I have recently finished reading a little but powerful book.

It’s called ‘As a Man Thinketh’ and it was published in 1903 by a British writer James Allen. The book is less than forty pages long but on every single page it sends a very powerful and clear message – learning how to manage your thoughts will put you in more control of your life and help you accomplish the things that are important to you.

I really believe that we are much more than what we think we are. By simply learning how to choose more positive and empowering thoughts and rejecting those that makes us feel scared, unworthy and weak, we can become more confident in our abilities.

The author compares our minds to a garden. Whether cultivated or neglected, things will grow in them. If gardens are cultivated and kept free from weeds, flowers and fruit grow. If neglected, weeds will start taking over and no seed will grow.

Looking after the garden requires self-discipline and practice. The more time you spend doing it, the better you become at it, the easier it gets. However, hard work is required right from the start.

It’s very easy to get nervous before the speech. All the natural fears of unknown, failure and being rejected kick in with twice the power.

I try my best to not allow myself to think negatively about the upcoming, arranged speaking events. Whenever the discouraging thoughts somehow manage to find the way into my brain, I quickly find the ways of distracting them with something more empowering – that is, for instance, reminding myself about the amount of time spent preparing for the talk, imagining the best possible outcome -seeing myself delivering an amazing and powerful talk or recalling all the other successful speaking experiences that I had in the past.

As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking. To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognise failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.

Every action starts with a thought. The first step to becoming a successful public speaker is to decide to become one.

Despite your fears.

 

Teaching Yourself How to Speak with Confidence and Power

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, after making a decision that I want to be a great speaker, I spent a lot of my time teaching myself how to communicat20160312_163639e in an engaging, confident and persuasive way.

This helped me in not only better understanding of others, but most importantly, better understanding of myself.

By learning about how to control my internal factors – my thoughts and emotions and their impact on my actions, I was able to get a clearer picture and assessment of the external factors – the thoughts, emotions and actions of other people.

And once you understand this, you are half way through to communicating effectively and deeply with your audience.

Below is the list of materials that I found useful during this journey:

BOOKS:

How to Develop Self Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking – Dale Carnegie (the bible of public speaking! Much shorter than the actual bible 😉 )

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini (absolute classic! One of my favourite books ever! Every sales person and marketer should read it!)

Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins (another classic!! In fact, anything from Robbins would be a great kick of motivation!)

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie (brilliant book for anyone really – business person, parent, friend)

See you at the Top – Zig Ziglar (another classic about selling, achieving your goals, motivation, positive thinking!)

Confidence – Rob Yeung  (really great starting point to building your confidence)

Who Moved my Cheese – Spencer Johnson (this book has about 30 pages, I read it in one evening but the learnings about how to deal with and plan change will lasted with me for years!)

Persuasion – James Borg (some greats tips on how to sell)

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg (absolute classic for every woman! and man!)

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman  (great position on how to control your emotions and much more)

The Chimp Paradox – Steve Peters (great position on how to control your thoughts and much more)

Talk like Ted – Carmine Gallo (I have only started reading this one last week but the first 30 pages sounded promising 🙂 )

VIDEOS:

Amy Cuddy – Fake it until you make it

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en

Julian Treasure – How to speak so that people listen

https://www.ted.com/playlists/226/before_public_speaking

Brene Brown- The power of vulnerability

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

Tony Robbins – Why we do what we do

https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_asks_why_we_do_what_we_do

Make Body Language your Superpower

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFLjudWTuGQ

Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAnw168huqA

Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHWUCX6osgM

Sheryl Sandberd: Why we have too few women leaders

http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders?language=en

OTHER THINGS:

‘King’s Speech’ – I don’t know more powerful movie about fighting off your fear of speaking or, in fact, becoming whom you are destined to be. This is one of my favourite movies ever!

‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ – great movie about having the right mindset to achieve your goals!

‘Read all about it’ by Emeli Sande – one of my favourite songs in the world! Listen to it’s powerful words!!

Conference: anything from Tony Robbins! ‘Unleash the power within’ is the one that is taking place next month in London. It’s a serious financial commitment but when I saw him in the past for only 3 hours I wanted to run to the moon and back from excitement 🙂

Hope you find this useful. I will leave you with the following quote:

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn’  Benjamin Franklin.

Gathering knowledge is great, but remember – the only way to become a great speaker is to start practicing speaking in front of people! 

I strongly believe that if I did it, then with the right mindset and mechanism used anyone can do it!!

If during your learning journey you come across another interesting source of knowledge, please share it in comments below so that we can all learn. Thank you! 🙂