5 Toxic Beliefs that Ruin Your Presentations

Posted on Mar 06

I love collecting inspiring and motivating quotations and here are two of my favourites….

“There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so” Hamlet
“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re probably right” Henry Ford

because they are so true when it comes to presenting.

Just like the Little Red Engine who gets to the top of the hill because he says “ I think I can, I think I can” most people do badly when presenting because what is playing in their heads is “ I think I can’t, I think I can’t”.

Everyone has their own beliefs based upon their life experiences but when it comes to presenting many people have similar ones. These are five limiting beliefs that consistently make people mess up when they present.

Toxic Belief Number 1: My self-worth is based on what others think of me.

Some people define themselves based upon how they think other people perceive them and worry that the audience won’t like them.
When you are convinced that your boss, your colleagues, your audience will think poorly of you, then straight away you lack the self-confidence needed to present well.

Toxic Belief Number 2: My past equals my future.

When you experience setbacks, particularly when presenting, it’s easy to get dispirited and discouraged, and then avoid opportunities to present because of the risk of failing again.

The messages we send ourselves – what I call our internal communication – affect everything that we do and they can become a self fulfilling prophecy…..

“My last presentation was awful so this one will be too…”
“I’ve messed up in the past so I will again”
“ Last time the audience were really bored so I’ll do it as quickly as possible to get it over with ”

When these are the sorts of messages that are in your head then you will mess up.
But it’s not inevitable. All you need to do is change the messages.

Toxic Belief Number 3: I’m not a natural speaker.

Some people believe that the ability to be an outstanding speaker is determined by luck, fate, or divine intervention. You are either a great natural born speaker or not.
When you have this all-too-common belief it robs you of initiative. It makes you passive instead of being willing to take action to learn the tools and techniques and develop the skills to become a persuasive and powerful speaker.

Toxic Belief Number 4: I can’t control how I feel.

Some people believe that their emotions are caused by external events and that we have no control over how we feel.
Such people find it difficult or impossible to “get out of their own heads” and see situations from another person’s viewpoint.
In reality we can change our state whenever we need to through processes such as The Confidence ClickTM and F.L.O.W.TM

Toxic Belief Number 5: My goal is to give a perfect presentation.

There is no such thing as a perfect presentation and having this goal is simply setting yourself up for disappointment (which then reinforces belief number 2).
Every presentation is simply a practice for the next one and there is always something that can be improved.

Whatever beliefs we have, we can change – if we want to. (This is one of the processes that I cover in all of my programmes).

For the majority of people presenting is problematic and they let these beliefs get in the way of them being an outstanding and successful presenter.

Don’t be one of them.

Until next time,

with best wishes for your success,


Cath Daley Ltd.

If you want to find out how Cath can help you eliminate these toxic beliefs then contact her for a no obligation consultation.

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Posted on Mar 06 in Business Presentations, Communication skills, Presentation Skills

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