[Guest Expert] Felicia Slattery: How You Can Be Like Michael Phelps or Serena Williams Without an Ounce of Athletic Ability with Felicia Slattery

It’s true entrepreneurs, experts and authors don’t usually have the stuff of world-famous elite athletes (unless you were a world famous athlete first and then entered the world of entrepreneurship and author-land).

Most of us have never been the star of a televised event with millions of people around the world watching us. We’ve never had Las Vegas put odds on us winning or losing the lottery, let alone something athletic. Heck it’s enough for most of us to get off our computer behinds and take a walk, go for a bike ride, do some yoga, or get into the gym once a week or so.

So what’s all this about how you can be like a couple of the world’s greatest athletes alive?

You have the same exact tool at your disposal that both Michael Phelps and Serena Williams have, along with countless other successful athletes, both famous and less famous. That tool is visualization. Let me explain.

When I talk to authors and entrepreneurs about using a speech to market their business or their book, what I call a Signature Speech™, the most frequent response I get is a look of bewilderment, followed by sheer fear and then a comment like, “I don’t know if I could ever do that… I’d be too nervous!”

Think for a second about how those elite athletes feel when it’s down to the wire, all eyes are on them, and they have to pull through and win. They’re probably a bit nervous, too. But their nerves are likely different than yours. Theirs are nerves of excitement, anticipation, and eagerness to see all their hours of grueling hard work practicing pay off.

You can shift your feelings of fear-nervousness to excitement-nervousness with visualization. It’s a simple technique that when used properly can be an amazing tool to help you get past your fears so you have the opportunity to use one of the most powerful forms of marketing your business and your book: public speaking. Here’s how.

When you visualize, imagine yourself speaking to a room full of happy people, excited and grateful to hear your message. Maybe you’re in a coffeehouse doing a reading from your book or at a breakfast networking meeting.  Invoke all your senses:

  • Sight: Imagine how the tables and chairs are arranged in the room, maybe in a U-shape or theater-style.
  • Sound: Listen to the coffee mugs being placed onto saucers and spoons stirring cream and sugar quietly into the coffee.
  • Smell: Smell the aroma of the coffee beans and fresh coffee being brewed with the luscious scent of pancakes, bacon, or muffins wafting through the air.
  • Taste: Imagine the cool water with just a squeeze of lemon as it refreshes your mouth before you begin to speak.
  • Touch: After your presentation you’re feeling the warmth from shaking hands and having people congratulate and thank you for a speech well done.

As you visualize using all your senses, feel calm and confident and see yourself in your mind’s eye delivering your presentation exactly as you want to.

When you follow these simple steps to visualize, you’ll be using the same winning strategy as elite athletes to help you advance your business and sell more books.

Felicia Slattery is the best-selling author of 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking, award-winning internationally-acclaimed speaker, communication and speaking coach & consultant to entrepreneurs, celebrities and CEOs. She also created the Signature Speech for Authors program especially for authors like you!

Photo courtesy Shutterstock, Sunny studio

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