“Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the universe. You are a being, full of infinite possibilities! Focus your mind with positivity and you will have dictated the direction of your journey, your soul and your being, cascading in infinite abundance.” – Angie Karan
What is self-talk?
You know your inner voice? Those silent conversations you have with yourself? This is what is known as self-talk. Self-talk will be a combination of positive, negative and neutral thoughts.
Examples of positive self-talk include:Advertising
- “I can do this.”
- “I am smart.”
- “This is a challenge, but I will complete it.”
Examples of negative self-talk include:
- “I’m stupid.”
- “I can’t do this.”
- “I’m a failure.”
- “I’m worthless.”
Research has shown that the optimum ratio for no stress in your life is two positive thoughts for every negative thought. It then is vitally important to be cognizant of your internal dialogue as it influences not only your feelings, and your behaviors, but also your well-being as a whole.
A wandering mind is a dangerous mind
Considering you have over 50,000 thoughts per day – the majority of which are automatic and below our conscious level, it becomes even more important to ‘observe’ this self-talk. Your mind is a wandering machine. It wanders without you even knowing it:Advertising
“Forty-seven percent of the time, the average mind is wandering. It wanders about a third of the time while a person is reading, talking with other people, or taking care of children. It wanders 10 percent of the time, even, during sex.” – James Hamblin, The Atlantic
And a wandering mind can be dangerous. If you fail to stop and analyze the validity of your self-talk, particularly negative self-talk, you compromise your well-being. Through repeated negative self-talk you begin to believe you are useless, worthless and a failure. This dents your confidence and induces stress.
How to improve your self-talk
Improving your self-talk will not happen overnight, as negative self-talk has become a habit from being often repeated over years. But it is possible. It starts with listening to your thoughts.Advertising
- Listen to what you are saying
Many of your thoughts are subconscious. It is not an easy task to listen to this subconscious thoughts. Over time – with practice, it is more than possible to access these innermost dialogues. You can do this by taking note of what you are saying. Start journaling. Write them down. Getting your thoughts on to paper frees your mind; allowing you to put things in the past and move forward.
- Monitor what you are saying
Ask yourself whether your self-talk is positive or negative. Negative self-talk is inaccurate, unreasonable and unhelpful. If not monitored, it can become a bad habit.
Ask yourself the following questions:Advertising
- How does it make me feel?
- Is there evidence for my thoughts?
- Are they reasonable?
- What purpose do they serve?
- You need to take action
Through identifying them, you can challenge them, thus allowing you to approach things differently.
Ask yourself more questions:
- How can I look at this in a positive way?
- How can I change what I am thinking?
- Consider sharing your self-talk with others
Not only does this allow you to vent and free your mind, it can also help you attain a fresh perspective. Looking at something from an outsider’s point of view sheds a new light on your problems.
The internal dialogue will not stop
The internal dialogue within you will never stop. 50,000 thoughts a day is testament to this. But, if you fail to pay attention to these dialogues, you may find that negative self-talk becomes your way of life. Through listening to your inner voice, monitoring your self-talk and taking steps to change your way of thinking, you will be well on your way to a more satisfied life.
Last Updated on December 2, 2018
7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience
When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.
You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:
1. Connecting them with each other
Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.
It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.
2. Connect with their emotions
Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.
For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.
3. Keep going back to the beginning
Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.
On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.
4. Link to your audience’s motivation
After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.
Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.
5. Entertain them
While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.
Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.
6. Appeal to loyalty
Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.
In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.
7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation
Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com