Public Speaking and The Football Player - Focusing on What You Want When You Speak in Public

Nancy Tierney

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Imagine a professional football player the day before the Big Game. Do you think he is visualizing all the mistakes he could possibly make? Is he cringing as he imagines getting tackled violently and often? Does he dwell on all the passes he won't catch, the fumbles he might make, and the deafening boo's he'll hear from the crowd?

Not a chance.

He's totally focused on how it will feel to make numerous touchdowns, catch every ball that comes his way, execute every play perfectly and effortlessly, run faster than ever and in the end, win, win, win!

Yet, when people are getting ready to speak in public, they do just the opposite. They start to imagine all the horrible things that could possibly go wrong. They worry about making a mistake, looking stupid, being boring, blanking out, not knowing enough, or any number of problems that will probably never happen.

This negative, “What-if" thinking does not serve you in any way. First of all, 99.9% of anything you worry about will never happen. Secondly, this kind of thinking creates more anxiety, tension, and fear. Follow the football player and get your mind focused on creating a extraordinary experience of success for yourself.

Start with the following:

Focus on What You Want

When your mind starts nagging you with horror story scenarios of what could go wrong, just say, “Hey, wait a minute! I don't want this!" and start thinking about what you DO want. “I want to feel great when I'm speaking. I want to make a connection with my audience. I want to feel confident about my message. " That sort of thing. Get your focus on what you want.

What Do You Want To Say?

When you are creating your speech, ask yourself, “What do I really want to say? What has purpose and passion for me?" Many speech coaches will tell you to focus on what the audience wants to hear rather than what you want to say, and while that is good advice, when you get in touch with what you really want to say, your entire speaking experience will be one thousand times more successful.

How Do You Want To Feel?

Imagine being in front of your audience. How do you want to feel? How do you want to experience this opportunity? For now, don't think about what you want to say or do. Just let yourself imagine feeling exactly as you want to feel. “I want to feel at ease, comfortable, confident, at home. Eager, excited and full of energy. "

What Do You Want to Have Happen?

This is where you focus on the details of each moment, how the crowd will respond, the questions they will ask, the response you will get. This is where you get to write the script exactly as you want it to go. Just like the football player who imagines each play being executed perfectly, you, get to imagine each and every aspect of your speech unfolding perfectly.

What Happens Now?

Now your speech is over. What happens? Do you get swarmed by the crowd asking for your autograph? Are you lifted on the shoulders of your fans and carried off stage? Why not? It happens to other superstars. You can imagine it any way you like.

You can create your experience with your thoughts. So create like the football player. Focus on what you want, not what you don't want.

If you'd like more tips on how to prepare for your Big Game, sign up for my free monthly e-zine, Becoming Fearless here:

You can also get help with any questions you may have about speaking with confidence at the Become the Star You Are TeleClinic

Nancy Tierney teaches entrepreneurs how to speak in public with confidence, ease and their own kind of charisma. You can discover how to be completely confident any time you are expressing yourself in any way by going to:


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