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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Preparing Your Mind for Stage Mastery

Your Self-Talk Matters

There’s an old axiom, often attributed to Dr. Joyce Brothers, that states, “You can’t consistently act in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”

The way you see yourself is directly affected by how you talk to, and about yourself. Any personal-development guru will tell you that. Therefore, as a speaker, you’ll want to replace any self-talk that doesn’t serve your message and image with self-talk that does.

This isn’t just a motivational tool. Your self-talk leads to physical changes in the way you behave, in the way you speak and in the way others perceive you. When you speak well of yourself, or even when you repeat positive and accepting words in your mind, your physical posture actually changes. You stand straighter, you become more animated with your gestures and you just feel better all round. Try it, and see for yourself.

Marc Bowden, author of “Winning Body Language,” calls this your “Yes State.” When you focus on all the most positive words you can think of, several great things happen. Not only do you become more open and accepting toward yourself, but you also become more open and accepting toward your audience. They’ll feel that openness and acceptance from you. They’ll trust you more when you’re in this state, because the open and accepting posture and energy will provide them with an unconscious feeling of being accepted by you. That’s a good thing!

If you don’t see yourself the way you’d like to see yourself, the objective is to make sure your self-talk is always positive and empowering. Since you can’t consistently act in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself, how you see yourself is largely determined by your self-talk, therefore, make your self-talk reflective of how you’d like to see yourself. Get it? Your speaking will be greatly enhanced by a strong and healthy self-image. You’ll feel it, and so will your audience.

So, what’s the lesson? Positive self-talk only, please!

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