“It surely was not as good as they said it was. It didn’t feel that way.”
A friend of mine was invited to speak at an event. Beforehand she was feeling nervous for speaking in public. And afterwards she felt she didn’t do too well. I reassured her she did very well.
Then I realized this is a real issue for so many that deserves attention.
She experienced the Appreciation Gap. This gap gets in the way of getting rid of nervousness when speaking in public.
So I gave her my best tip to stay in your power when you speak.
When others say “Fantastic, well done.” and you think “That was so bad.”
What you are doing is beating yourself up after your presentation. Here’s how to close the Appreciation Gap.
What happens is your inner critic shows up active and loud.
Your inner critic says things like:
“What did you just say, that was very unclear.”
“You could have phrased that better.”
“You see, someone is looking confused. You are not driving your point home.”
“This didn’t come out as I wanted it to.”
“I forgot something there.”
“I was too brief.”
“I was too elaborate.”
You see where this is going. You talk bad to yourself and you come out of your stage time feeling disappointed. Nobody wants this.
How to turn this around
What you should teach yourself is to start including appreciation to your inner conversation. Make room for your inner cheerleader.
To shift from negative to positive self-talk, you continuously confirm to yourself what is going well. Every minute or so when you are speaking check in with yourself. At first, this demands conscious effort, but once you master this, it will be effortless. : ) And you will be able to keep your energy high inside and outside.
Think of replacing the above thoughts with these:
“This was clear.”
“This person is nodding.”
“The audience smiles.”
“I did a great tension build and release.”
“This was a beautiful sentence.”
“I just shared a great example to illustrate my point.”
“I am articulating well.”
And you will experience the power of positive affirmation.
It will take a while to integrate this new habit. My advice is you start by saying these affirmations out loud when you practice. Then when you feel after a number of times that it is automatic you can do it in silence.
Best of luck with this tip!!
More tips can be found in these blog posts:
Prefer to work on confident speech with an experienced coach?
I believe everyone should be able to own any stage in full confidence.
Having a healthy relationship with your inner critic and nourishing your inner cheerleader is the first thing to work on as a speaker.
As a speaker coach, I have helped countless clients get rid of nervousness and stand on stage in their powerful presence.
If you have an important keynote to deliver in the coming months and need someone to chat with, I’d love to help.