When I was 20 years old I had an epiphytic moment. After reflecting on my life, my successes, my failures and all of the things I was proud of, one theme above all else stood out to me.
Success loves preparation.
As simple as it seems, that moment has unarguably changed my life. When I connected the dots to all of the moments I succeeded and was honest enough with myself to understand why I’ve failed, it all came down to preparation.
Did I put in the work to understand my craft? Did I train hard enough in the gym that my competitors had no chance? Ultimately, was I ready for the task at hand?
The times where I can definitely shout, yes! I won. The times where now looking back, I sink my head in disappointment because I didn’t, I lost.
Today is about helping you realize that theme for yourself. To understand that the only thing that’s stopping you from public speaking success is your level of preparation. You don’t need any connections and you certainly don’t need any previous experience in communications. I’ve worked with some of the worst speakers you could imagine and over a 6-12 week period watched them literally transform.
All you need is the desire to speak confidently and the will to prepare long enough and with even focus that your success becomes inevitable.
This post is part 1 of 3 on how to prepare for a memorable presentation. The first step to crushing it on stage is to dive deep into the mindset of high performance and what you should be saying to yourself in order to execute at the highest levels.
At the end of the day, we create our realities through our language. And that’s not necessarily what we say out loud… Although that matters too. Our words are merely reflections of our internal dialogue and at our core, our beliefs about ourselves. Let me give you two examples of completely different uses of language and how they will impact your next performance.
Meet Happie. He’s one of my best friends in Toronto and believes he’s an incredible speaker. Therefore his internal dialogue and as a result the words he expresses are a reflection of those empowering thoughts and beliefs. Just the other week he was asked a question impromptu in front of a group we were speaking to. Very subtly, he said out loud,
“I’m going to crush this.”
So let me ask you, how do you think he did?
He was incredible. So good in fact that night I compared him to Oprah. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise for you! Happie created that reality for himself through his use of empowering language.
A contrasting example is another friend of mine Dave. Dave has a different belief system. I remember that same night, which was the inspiration for this video, he was giving a speech evaluation for another Toastmaster.
Like most people (maybe you can relate), he’s very uncertain about his ability to communicate as a public speaker. In the first few sentences he said out loud for the whole group to peek deep inside his belief systems, “Moshe, I don’t know if this evaluation will be any good, but….”
Based on what we’ve covered so far, I bet you can imagine how the rest of that evaluation went. You betcha, mediocre at best. But it’s not that Dave didn’t have the skills, knowledge, or the competence to deliver a great evaluation, he does! The only think he lacked was the belief. These stories aren’t just about public speaking and their not about Happie or Dave, these examples are to illustrate a universal law that governs performance:
We create our realities through our language.
No athlete makes it to the olympics without the belief that they have the talent and drive to get them there. No salesperson smashes their quotas without the beliefs of abundance and certainty. And you and I will not create exceptional performances, speeches that inspire and mobilize people into action unless, like Happie, we intentionally use empowering language to create the realities we desire.
Let me repeat that, unless you and I intentionally use empowering language, we will not create the realities we desire.
That is how you prepare to compete, to perform and of course, to speak.
Only once you have your mindset right will the results follow.
I want you to intentionally choose empowering language in the next high stakes situation of your life. It can be as simple as “I’m going to crush this. I’m going to crush this. I’m going to crush this.”
Whatever you need to do or say to yourself to get your mindset right, do it. It’s the first and most pivotal step to high performance and crushing your next speech. That was part 1 of speech preparation, and if you apply this concept you’ll be blown away as your confidence soars and you begin to use empowering language in every aspect of your life.
Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”