Why public speaking is like playing Rugby

For the day that’s in it (Come on Ireland!), I thought I would look at the similarities between preparing for a crucial six nations rugby match, and preparing for a wedding speech, a presentation or a job interview. At first glance, there may seem to be no connection, but let’s dig a bit deeper.

Irish Rugby

In order to perform at your best, you need to change the way you think about the task you’re performing. Some people talk about this in terms of a paradigm shift. Once you change the way you see the challenge, you can’t help but change the way you approach it. Is your presentation, interview or speech a performance? Yes, it absolutely is.

So, Ireland have a big game coming up against Scotland. Do they just rock up to Murrayfield and hope that everything will be ok? Absolutely not. How many times have you heard a commentator say ‘Straight off the Training Ground’ when a will executed move results in a score? How much have we heard over the last number of weeks about how meticulous Joe Schmidt is about his preparation and analysis. How much of the hard work is done before the team ever walks out onto the field  at 2.30 this afternoon?

Ask yourself this, If your speech was a rugby match, what would you do to prepare for it? How much would you practice, how well would you be drilled. If your job interview was a rugby match, would you have analysed previous performances and practiced and rehearsed answers to the most common questions (What are your weaknesses? Outline a time when you achieved something in your role that involved overcoming obstacles…).

You can’t just leave things to chance and assume things will work out. If you could, the Irish team would have just said ‘Hey, we’re professional rugby players, we’ll just rock up to Murrayfield and do what we do and it will be fine’. They haven’t, and you shouldn’t.

Find out how you can prepare for your wedding speech, interview or presentation by calling 085 1056699 or find details of the next Make That Speech Course HERE

Make A Good First Impression

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Make sure you’re making the right one by learning skills and techniques that will enable you to capture attention and make a positive impact with your opening statements.

Find out more about the next Make That Speech Course here

What Can We Learn About Public Speaking From Professional Golfers?

Take a look at this clip of the number 1 ranked golfer in the world today, Rory McIlroy:

Actually, you can find similar videos for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and almost every other top layer on the tour on youtube right now.

Rory McIlroy became world number 1 in 2013 and promptly missed the cut in his next 3 events, and lost the world number 1 Spot.

So what we can we learn from the golfers?

Firstly, the sometimes you are going to have a bad day. In the case of a golfer, that doesn’t make you a bad golfer. Likewise, in the case of someone give a presentation or doing some form of Public Speaking, if, for whatever reason it doesn’t go as well as you would like, that does not inherently make you  bad at it. Too many people have one bad experience with Public Speaking, take that as conclusive proof that they aren’t good at it, and go out of their way to avoid doing it in the future. The fact that it went bad once, doesn’t mean it will or always has to go badly in the future.

Secondly, the importance of your mental state in your ability to perform. That’s equally applicable to Public Speaking (and almost every other endeavour) as it is to Golf. It’s pretty obvious that Rory McIlroy is an amazing golfer, but if his head’s not right, by his own admission, the golf’s not right either.

Thirdly, the importance of visualisation. Here’s what golfing legend Nick Faldo had to say about what makes Rory McIlroy so special and why is such a prodigious talent:

“But what I believe is his golfing DNA gift is his visualisation. I had to teach visualisation to myself but he’s got it naturally.

You just watch the way he looks at things. You watch the way he lines up bunker shots. He’s trying to hole them. He can see the perfect shot in his mind – and then can so often produce it.”

 

What Can We Learn About Public Speaking From Henry Ford?

Though the quote is variously reported, quoted and misquoted, Henry Ford is reported to have said some variation of the following:

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right, Henry Ford Quote

How does this apply to Public Speaking?

Well if you approach any situation in the frame of mind “I can’t do this”, then you are probably going to be right. It wont go well, or at least not as well as it could do. Worse again, your belief that you can’t speak well in public becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, that is to say, you say “I can’t to it”, which sets you up to fail before you begin, then when you do fail (partly or wholly because of your negative state of mind) you see that as proof that you are right, and say “See, I told you I couldn’t do it”

What you think massively and heavily influences how you feel, and your ability to carry out any given task.

If you think “I can do this” from the outset, your chances of success at your chosen task are much greater than a starting position of “I can’t do this”

On a Make That Speech course, we work to break the negativity cycle and help you move from a negative ‘can’t’ position to a positive and empowering ‘can’ position using NLP techniques and hypnosis.

To find out more and to see if this approach can work for you, phone 085 10556699 or click here for details on the next Make That Speech public speaking course

What Can We Learn About Public Speaking From Cool Runnings?

It might seem like a mad question, but actually quite a lot!

This scene from Cool Runnings is very important to anybody who wants to be a competent and confident public speaker.

Click The Picture to Play the Clip

 

Visualisation is an incredibly powerful way of preparing for a performance of any kind. You will very often hear professional sports stars talk about visualisation before an event. For example a golfer visualising where the ball is going to go before taking an important shot, or a runner seeing how a race will be run before running an important race. They see what’s going to happen and mentally rehearse it over and over again, until it feels so natural to them that they can’t imagine any other outcome. Many top golfers count visualisation and mind coaches (for the want of a better job description) as full time members of their team.

It’s a form of practice, but one you can do any time any place. The more you practice in your mind, the more natural it feels. The more immersive the visualisation, the more real it feels, the more beneficial it becomes.

If these techniques are tried and tested by some of the highest performing elite athletes in the world, why not use them yourself? On a ‘Make That Speech’ public speaking course, you will learn to harness the power of visualisation, so that you can become increasingly more confident in your own ability.

To find out more about whether this technique can work for you call 085 1056699 and find more details on the next Make That Speech Public Speaking and Communications Skills training day here

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We specialise in helping you overcome your fear or anxiety of public speaking. We will teach you communication skills and techniques that are proven to be effective and that can be learned, practiced and continually improved on by anybody, anywhere. Yes, that includes YOU! These skills are for life and will help you improve your confidence generally and specifically enable you to be free of the fear and anxiety that may have held you back and stopped you from achieving your true potential.