Monday, February 28, 2011

Public speaking: all about your mindset

In your public speaking class or in your personal experiences, have you ever been encouraged to approach your speaking from an acting mindset? In his blog post for the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bubriski points out that public speaking classes have borrowed many of their techniques from the acting profession in recent years.

"[T]he energy and creativity this can unleash can be a good thing when it leads to well-told stories that inspire colleagues, customers and stakeholders to action," he says. "But it doesn't work for everyone."

If you are one of those people that does not feel comfortable or is not a natural at using acting techniques in your public speeches, Bubriski suggests a rather insightful alternative mindset you can try: "think of practicing speaking skills like practicing a sport," he advises. "With a sport you're not pretending to be someone else. You are training your body and your mind to achieve feats of skill--building your muscle memory with drills and repetition," he explains.

How can you do this? Bubriski explains that it starts with an awareness of your own skills. He recommends looking at yourself and recognizing the "instruments, and how versatile, flexible and capable they are." Chances are, you have a lot of strengths that can be applied--you just have to learn to channel them for use with public speaking. Bubriski's sports mindset could be a way to help this come about.

Do you think this mindset would be helpful? Will you give it a try? Do you have another metaphor for public speaking you think our readers would find useful?

1 comment:

Emily said...

Public Speaking is definitely not a strong suit of mine. I always get really nervous and go way to fast. I really like this mindset because when you think of acting, it lets you be someone else for a bit and you tend to think less of what people think of you, since you aren't being yourself.