The Most Important Word in High Impact Presenting & Public Speaking: Y – YES

Group of young people with raised hands enjoying in a speedboat ride.

The penultimate word in the series of The A to Z of Mindful Presenting is arguably the most important; it’s YES.

One of my wife’s favourite TV programmes is an American series called ‘Say Yes to the Dress’. The TV show revolves around Kleinfeld Bridal, the Manhattan-based bridal salon where, ‘more than 250 professionals, most of them veterans from the shop’s early days in Brooklyn, bend over backward to make each bride’s experience unforgettable.’

When it comes to presenting each of us has a similar challenge. Whilst it would be a little overzealous to suggest that our prime objective is to make our presentation unforgettable, it does at least have to be memorable.

The TV series is focused upon helping the bride to find and say ‘yes’ to the perfect wedding dress. Each time we present in business or speak in public we have a number of challenges revolving around the word YES.

Here are three of the big ones.

  1. YES – I can do this

The fear of presenting and public speaking is a very real, powerful and debilitating one. Whilst I’ve never understood just how the average person could rank the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death its venom is something I’ve experienced for myself.

Thankfully, there is a great deal we can do to help overcome the fear and there are countless articles on the internet to help sufferers; including our own website. I believe the most powerful advice is to acknowledge and accept the reality that we all have a compelling voice. Our mission is to find, value and express it and the key to unlocking it is the word ‘YES’.

My wife and I have just returned from a fabulous holiday in Florida, a beautiful part of the world that we have been to many times before. This time we were offered the opportunity to board a speed boat to see a spectacular dolphin show in the ocean. My wife has long held a very debilitating phobia of boats and all things related to sitting in one.

After many years of avoidance, she finally found the courage to say, ‘YES, I’ll do it, I’m sick and tired of missing out, I want to see the Dolphins’.

We jumped on the speedboat and after many years of fear, frustration and regret my wife enjoyed the most magnificent Dolphin show the crew themselves said they had ever seen.

The only thing that had changed in decades was her language; she chose the word ‘YES’.

Such a simple, short and common word held immense power.

– It inspired belief and action

– It became an antidote to fear doubt and insecurity

  1. YES – I am good enough

At Mindful Presenter we have trained and coached a vast number of highly intelligent, creative and talented professionals to overcome a very secret personal issue.

The issue is a deeply buried belief that despite their success, status and the way they are perceived by others that they are simply not good enough. It’s a belief that despite their extensive experience, knowledge and expertise they wake up every day and go to work believing that it’s only a question of time before they are ‘found out’. That moment becomes even more prevalent when they are called upon to speak.

The fact is,the only reason you have been asked to speak on a topic is because you know what you are talking about. All of those internal voices that are telling you that you don’t are just your ego trying to sabotage you to prove its own value; ‘See I told you’.

Words have energy so you can be certain that if you continuously choose to use the negative debilitating ones that is exactly what you will experience.

Our job is to tell ourselves:

Yes, I have the knowledge

Yes, I have the expertise

Yes, I am good enough

  1. YES – I have something important to say

One of the many obstacles to high impact presenting and the reason for so much stress and anxiety is our subconscious awareness that a great deal of the information to be shared is just ‘noise’. In other words, it’s not completely relevant or valuable to our audience, they know most of it anyway or they could read it for themselves in an email.

Our challenge is to be able to believe with absolute conviction that what we have to say matters and will make a real difference to the professional or personal lives of our audience.

Each time you stand to speak make sure that the first three things you say to yourself is:

YES – I can do this

YES – I am good enough

YES – I have something important to say

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If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

Image courtesy of: istockphoto.com

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