myths

The Trouble With Thinking Big

Many people that keep up with the latest trends in personal development find themselves surrounded by fads. These fads are often started by a new book, film or web site and then spread like wildfire. Some of them work while others are just noise.

One that I’ve been seeing and hearing over and over again is the concept of thinking big – if your goal isn’t big, throw it out and find a bigger one. To me, it’s just another way for people to feel like they’re moving towards their goals when they’re really not.

Your Words Have Power

Ever catch yourself muttering something negative about yourself under your breath? I’ve caught myself doing it a lot and it’s something I’ve been to working to stop doing. It usually happens when I make a mistake – I’ll say something like “that was really dumb of me.” What I didn’t realize at the time was that when I said things like that, I started making more mistakes because I was essentially convincing myself that I was dumb.

Public Speaking Myths: You Must Immediately Capture Your Audience’s Attention

So you’re listening to someone read your introduction to the audience. It’s your turn to finally take the stage. You walk out, shake the hand of the person introducing you and face the audience. The clock has started and you have only a few precious moments to capture the audience’s attention or it’s forever lost. Or do you?

Public Speaking Success: Why You Shouldn’t Practice Your Speech in Front of a Mirror

You’ve been tasked to give a speech and you want to do a good job. So you ask for advice (or advice is given to you) on how to best prepare for a speech and someone tells you to practice your speech in front of a mirror. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea – after all you can see how your body movies and what you look like when you speak. But in reality, speaking in front of a mirror can actually cause you to develop bad habits and can add to your discomfort if you already find speaking to groups difficult.

Public Speaking Myths: Imagining Your Audience in their Underwear Makes You Less Nervous.

So you’re about to take the stage to give a speech and you start feeling a little strange. Your stomach feels like it’s tied up in knots, your heart is racing and you have a warm and tightening feeling in your upper body. This is a normal feeling that even experienced speakers feel from time to time. So how do you deal with it? How about imagining your audience in their underwear?

Public Speaking Myths: You Should Never Open With a Thank You

Throughout the last six years, I’ve heard at least a dozen folks who are good speakers tell other people that they should never open their speech with “Thanks, it’s nice to be here” or some other cordial greeting. I’ve asked many of these folks why they feel so strongly about it and have yet to receive what I consider a satisfactory answer – a giveaway that I might have a myth on my hands.

Here are some of the answers I’ve received when asking why this is so bad:

  • It weakens your speech.
  • It bores the audience.

Public Speaking Myths: Public Speaking is Like Riding a Bike.

You were able to present like a pro at your first job but now it’s been years since you’ve last given speech. You should be okay, right? Not necessarily. Many folks assume that since they were able to give a good presentation back in the day that they’d still be able to deliver an engaging talk today. While that might be true for some people, most notably people that presented frequently for an extended period of time, not everyone is able to pick up where they left off – especially if it took a lot of work to overcome the discomfort.

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