Public speaking need not be an anxiety driven experience with the right coping mechanisms such as creative visualization. We all should be aware that we always have 2 points of creation in any effort in our lives:
- Our thoughts and consciousness – This happens during the conception of our ideas and most often involves us visualizing our desired outcome.
- Then our actual action – This state involves us taking the action and making our thought or idea a reality.
My experience in teaching 100’s of people the fundamental skills of public speaking is that they suffer from step #1 or negative visualizations with thinking about or engaging in public speaking. When I ask all beginning public speaking students if they can describe their own internal visualizations when thinking about speaking they all report negative ones. Usually these are “seeing”a future negative experience with speaking or catastrophizing about their future speech. This is a fundamental change that they need to make to reconceive of public speaking in a positive light. Positive creative visualization is a key element to changing our experience in public speaking.
Using Creative Visualization
Creative visualization is the practice of seeking to affect our real world experience by changing our inner thoughts and expectations – in this case we are referring to using actual visualization(s). Creative visualization involves using your own internal visualization to guide you to new and positive practice of “seeing” public speaking as a positive experience.
- Ask yourself: “What do I think of when I think about public speaking? What do I see internally or visualize? “
- Find a safe, quiet and peaceful place where you can be relaxed. Sit in a relaxed posture and close your eyes.
- Visualize the optimal conditions of delivering your speech. Run through it in great detail. See yourself perfectly executing the speech, the positive audience interaction, the smiles, the positive conclusion and evaluation of your performance. If you run through your speech several times this practice should yield a change in your confidence level and performance quality.
- Repeat till you feel a change in your internal experience of speaking.
Does this sound like psycho-bable? It isn’t. The science of positive creative visualization is widely used in the sports world and elsewhere and has a strong scientific basis in 1000’s of studies. Why not give it a try? Please let me know your experience by leaving a comment below.