Your Ability To Succeed In Public Speaking Depends On Your Mindset
Updated: 5 days ago
Explains Top Speaking Coach Jose
To master the art and science of Public Speaking, you must conquer the most fundamental organ of all: your brain.
If you are unable to do this, there might come a time when you go on stage and completely freeze, as top public speaking coach Jose Ucar did during an exchange student programme when he was 16. “I could not say a word, my mind went blank, I got sweaty palms and afterwards I had to decide whether to stay on the trip, or give up and go home,” he recalls.
When Jose decided to remain on the trip and learn to overcome the fear that paralysed him the first time he stepped onto a big stage, he took the first step to developing a stronger mindset that would enable him to succeed as a public speaker.
The Key Component Of Mental Strength
So often in life, we put a lot of effort into a project but fail to accomplish what we set out to do. Then we analyse what went wrong and realise we could have approached it differently and achieved better results that way.
In instances like these, our thinking patterns are responsible, according to Jose. “The most important thing is mindset, because the quality of your thinking is what will determine the quality of your public speaking, your career, and your life as a whole,” he explains.
“Imagine you've got a car and you want it to go faster. What do you do? Do you change the paint? The tyres? The lights? The sound system? When I was in Venezuela, I had huge speakers in the boot and I would drive people deaf.”
“This was quite cool when I was 20, but it didn’t make the car go faster. The only way to do that is by actually investing in the engine, changing it or repairing it. And it’s the same thing with our minds. We have to work on our mindset first in order to then gain the skills we need to convey the best version of ourselves.”
Mindset Is The Foundation For Everything
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be,” says American author Marianne Williamson.
This is exactly what Jose advocates whenever he encourages a client to change their mindset. He knows that a person has to change the way they think if they are to fulfil their potential as a powerful presenter. And there are four key factors that influence the quality of our thoughts: purpose, identity, beliefs and values.
“They are the foundation upon which you're going to lay out the skills and capabilities in order to drive successful performance in any environment,” he says.
Public speaking is a great example of this because, no matter whether a speech goes well, or falters, there will have been a sequence of thoughts that led to that outcome. Therefore, if you change your thinking, you will change the outcome.
“Do you know certain people that are always learning, reading books, and attending training sessions?” asks Jose. “Have you noticed that for some of them their lives don’t change much? This is because they are mainly operating from the skills and capabilities level. If you want to achieve greater and long-lasting change, it’s important to dive deeper into your psyche and master the fundamentals of mindset.”
Purpose, identity, beliefs and values can serve as guidance for our thinking patterns. When we have a clear purpose, and we know exactly what we want to achieve, we can be unstoppable because our energy and passion come from within.
Jose’s purpose is to help others. “Knowing I can impact people’s lives anywhere in the world inspires me to keep going on days when I am tired or do not feel like doing it,” he explains. “Because I know I am making a difference to people’s lives, I stretch myself and, when I stretch myself, I grow.”
It is vital to have a well-defined sense of identity. When you are presenting, if you believe you are the authority in your field and a public speaking expert, you will position yourself as such in the eyes and minds of your audience.
Even if we have a strong understanding of our purpose and identity, we still require strong beliefs and values to back them up. It’s key to believe in what we do and who we are. Empowering beliefs can be the difference between succeeding or failing while dealing with unplanned situations that may arise on stage. “Believing that I have all the resources available to deal with unexpected circumstances” has always been of great help, says Jose.
“It has been particularly important for me to learn how the decisions I’ve made in my life are dictating how I deal with different situations,” Jose explains. “Another one of my beliefs is that there is no failure, there is only learning. This helps me face any situation without much hesitation and helps me grow, stay motivated and maintain a positive outlook because I know that I can always learn and move forward.”
Imagine how powerful it can be for a speaker to have a keen grasp of these mindset fundamentals. If you can achieve this, you will gain an ability that is vital to any great presenter: the flexibility to tweak purpose, identity, beliefs or values in order to achieve the desired results. “If you get stuck, start with your purpose,” Jose advises. “It influences everything else.”
Find A Way To Prepare For Presentations That Works For You
“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation,” according to pastor and motivational speaker Robert H. Schuller.
Hard work is the surest path to success. And one of the most critical elements of the work that goes into public speaking is preparation. Jose is well aware of this. When he is preparing a speech, he knows he has to get himself in the right frame of mind before he works on any of the other elements.
“I have a ritual immediately before I go on stage and in the days leading up to it,” the public speaking expert explains. “I visualise myself a few seconds after having successfully delivered my speech. I imagine everyone giving me a round of applause after everything has gone exactly the way I wanted. I imagine everyone is excited and my favourite music is playing in the background.”
He continues, “This is a powerful visualization technique used by high-performing athletes. Once I see myself at the end, I replay the presentation from beginning to end exactly how I want it to happen with the level of energy and enthusiasm of having already done it successfully.”
Jose also says this technique makes him feel like he knows the audience before a presentation because he has already seen them in his mind, which enables him to go on stage and instantly feel comfortable in that environment.
The top public speaker is simultaneously working on his mindset as well as all the other aspects of his speech including slides, storytelling, body language and how he presents himself. It’s all about the balance and connection between the internal and external elements of a successful presentation. “Work on the messenger as well as the message” is Jose’s advise.
Encourage Others To Change Their Mindset Through Your Speeches
American author and businessman Seth Godin says, “If you want to grow, you’ll not only need to get someone to decide that you’re worth their time and money, but you’ll also need to motivate them to act now instead of later.”
This requires a change in mindset from them, particularly if they are keen to carry on doing things the way they always have and are content to achieve success at a slower pace.
One of the principal disadvantages of working towards your goals at a placid rate is that, if you fail, you have wasted a lot more time than you would have done if you were working quicker and smarter.
With this in mind, Jose encourages his clients to pro-actively integrate new information into their lives immediately so that they are consistently adding marginal gains to their performance.
He teaches them to think differently. Instead of thinking to themselves, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, or ‘I’ll get around to doing that soon’, he urges them to adopt an attitude of ‘how about today?’
“It's important that you motivate people now, instead of later, because what happens is people go back to their lives and then life happens and they lose the opportunity to fast track something in their lives right now.”
Nothing like Developing your Mindset
More than ever, it's important that you dedicate time to develop your mindset to gain control over your emotions and actions. You are where you are today as a result of how you think, therefore, changing your thinking patterns and mental strategies will be key to your success (whatever success means to you).
I've experienced many setbacks in my life and I still do on a regular basis, but since my mindset has become my priority, I genuinely believe that I can overcome everything that life has in store for me. That's what I want for you, unlimited power that comes from within.
I want to highlight that nurturing and developing your mindset is a daily practice. Surround yourself with people that are achieving what you want, meditate, read books related to your goals and outcomes and keep on moving forward, no matter how difficult or painful it might feel. Always remember that great things await out of your comfort zone.
What do you want for your life?
Once you are clear, go on and do it. If you are not clear yet, keep on looking and asking yourself questions like:
• What do you love doing?
• What are your talents?
• What does the world need?
• What is that something people would be willing to pay you for?
• What would your ideal business/job be and who would it be for?
• When you’ve found your purpose, that to you is like what?
Enjoy the ride and trust the process.
If you want to learn the tools and techniques that will enable you to become a great presenter in front of any audience and any environment, check out Jose’s World-Class Communicator online course.