Externalize your focus in public speaking

Who cares about you?

It’s an interesting thought.

Partners, parents, siblings, close friends,  are all a given- but even they have their own lives and while they certainly care; how much of their time is spent thinking about you?

Moments in the day or week. No more.

If those closet to you only think about you in moments. How much do work colleagues care about you, or spend large amounts of time thinking about you?

Hardly ever.

Do strangers care or think about you.

Certainly not.

Why then in public speaking do you presume the audience cares and thinks about you??

Let’s look at a scenario. You’re standing there and suddenly you see the audience- will they like me? Will they listen to me? What if I make mistake and look stupid. What do all of these thoughts have common? They presume to know what others are thinking. You are stood there supposedly ready to speak, when in reality you’re attempting to second guess what work colleagues or strangers think about you.

Which brings us to the golden rule- Nobody outside of your inner circle cares about you.

How do I know this? Well how often do you spend time thinking about what work colleagues are feeling. The answer is hardly ever, because you are too consumed by your own thoughts, actions, and life. Therefore It’s not a stretch to safely assume that if you are doing this then so is the other person! This highlights another truth; you are naturally selfish with your thoughts, (we all are) which leads you to irrationally presume the world revolves you.

This means you’re nurturing the idea that the audience cares more about you, than they do about themselves.


Lets digest that for a moment as we go back to our example.

The time has arrived and your on the spot ready to speak. It’s absolutley vital in these last moments that you realise it’s not about you. So often in public speaking people make the mistake of focusing internally. If you do this, then you’re just reinforcing neagtive thought. If you place your focus externally or on the audience, then what happens to you? That’s right- you start to feel at ease because suddenly it’s not about you.

When you focus on externally, something else starts to happen. You begin to realise that you can control what the audience is feeling.

Let me explain in more detail.

You begin to deliver and you focus on whether what you are saying is landing. You are actively watching, observing and listening to your audience. It is impossible to do this AND feel vulnerable or self-conscious, so as by product of focusing externally you begin to relax. As you relax- so does your audience and it becomes much easier to be yourself and build rapport. This has hasn’t happened by you consciously telling  yourself to relax, it’s happened because you’ve got outside of your head by focusing externally on the audience.

Who care’s about you?

No one.

Well, only the people that matter.

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