Electronic Newsletter --
The Mental Game Coach Report Archive
February 20, 2004
The Mental Game Coach Report
Mind Strategies For Business Productivity and Personal Development
For Business Professionals, Sports Enthusiasts,
And Performers And Achievers In All Walks Of Life.
Volume 4, Number 2, February 20, 2004
In This Issue:
- ARE YOU PREPARED TO INTERVIEW?
29 MENTAL PSYCH-UP STRATEGIES FOR GIVING A GREAT INTERVIEW--PART
- MENTAL GAME MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
- THE 23 MOST COMMON VOCAL MISTAKES PRESENTERS
MAKE--HOW MANY DO YOU MAKE?
- IN THE NEWS
1. ARE YOU PREPARED TO INTERVIEW?
29 MENTAL PSYCH-UP STRATEGIES FOR GIVING A GREAT INTERVIEW
Bill Cole MS, MA
Do you have a special psych-up system for getting into the proper
mind set for being interviewed? Do you know how to ready your
mind? Do you have a trusted formula that helps you get into the
performance zone on a regular basis?
Do you have a system that will keep your mind clear and crisp
under pressure? To handle the stress of tough interviews?
This article will help you develop mental readiness strategies
so you can prepare with confidence for any interviewing situation.
Do you ever wonder why you interview with excellence one day and
can't get out of your own way the next? The answer might lie in
how you prepare. To not prepare is to begin to fail, but psyching
up with purpose can light the fire of greatness inside you.
Mental preparation is comprised of long-term preparation (training)
and short-term preparation (pre-event routines and rituals). Short-term
mental preparation includes psyching up strategies the day before,
the morning of, just before the interview and during the interview.
These four phases are vital to handling performance anxiety, focusing
you on your upcoming tasks, keeping you positive-minded and in
providing energy to drive your performance.
Easy-To-Use Mental Strategies
In previous articles, you have discovered various phases of the
preparation strategies. Let's now learn about short-term pre-event
mental preparation strategies. Here are some approaches I use
when coaching business people, athletes and other speakers and
Everyone has a story about how great preparations lead to great
performances. The key is realizing that you have control over
how you prepare. Give yourself the gift of psyching up and watch
your performances soar!
Athletes, sales people, teachers, public speakers, media people
and anyone else who "officially performs" successfully uses pre-performance
routines or rituals. You can use routines to help you relax, focus
and prepare mentally and physically for an upcoming event. A ritual
is a systematic series of steps undertaken prior to the execution
of a task designed to help you sharpen mentally, emotionally and
physically. You may have things you like to do ahead of your event
that make you feel optimistic, confident and energized. This is
your ritual. You want to perform tasks ahead of time that contribute
to your focus and organization. You should have routines you use
to keep you calm, in the proper mood and frame of mind.
Choose Your Custom Ritual Style
There are two times to use your rituals. One is just prior to
the start of your interview, for mental preparation, and the other
is during the interview, but during breaks in the action, to re-focus
or re-energize. In addition, there are two broad styles of rituals.
If you enjoy focusing specifically on the upcoming interview and
organizing details, thinking about it, imagining yourself performing
well and can see yourself completing the interview successfully,
you use an associative style of preparation. If doing all that
makes you nervous, and you'd rather not focus on what is about
to happen, and instead prefer to distract yourself by listening
to music, reading, viewing television or the like, then you use
a dissociative style of preparation. Both styles are valid and
appropriate. The key is to know which one works best for you and
to consistently apply that ritual. Remember that even not thinking
about the upcoming interview is a legitimate style of preparing
if you use it consistently across all your interview performances.
This is your customized way of preparing to perform your best.
Ultimately, it may be best to work with a mental game coach to
be able to purposively focus on the upcoming interview so you
can iron out any performance issues and to prepare as fully as
possible using the associative approach.
This concludes part one. Next month's article continuation will
reveal the 29 psych-up strategies you can use before any interview
© Copyright 2004 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
NEED COACHING FOR TEST-TAKING OR EXAM
I can help you the same way I helped a manager at a high-tech
firm here in Silicon Valley recently. I coached him to handle
the pressures of a high-stakes certification exam required for
his job security. He says:
"Bill, thank you for all your help with my exam, especially on
such short notice. Thank you for your careful concern and support.
I couldn't have done this without you. The investment I made with
you paid off big-time. I passed the exam! I have you to thank
for getting me through the pressure.
You're a great coach!"
Silicon Valley Company
2. MENTAL GAME MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
--Sir Edmund Hillary
"To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of
"Dream. Think. Dare."
"Ready! Fire! Aim!"
3. THE 23 MOST COMMON VOCAL MISTAKES
Bill Cole, MS, MA
You probably have attended a presentation where the speaker was
quite difficult to listen to, but you couldn't put your finger
on why. Another time you were enthralled by a wonderful speaker
who truly pleased you. Again, you didn't know why. What's the
difference here? Very likely, it's the speaker's voice.
Some speaking voices require conscious mental effort to be understood
and to be listened to for longer periods of time. Extreme effort
must be expended to grasp the words, and overall, the voice is
not pleasing to the ear. It's much like going to a concert and
finding that while all the notes are being played "correctly",
something is still wrong.
Conversely, some speaking voices are straight from heaven. They
seem almost musical, with the ability to vary the pitch, tone,
volume, accent, energy and power at will. These are the virtuoso
voices we could listen to all day.
For most speakers, voice usage is one of the last areas of improvement.
Fortunately, though, there is help. The first step? Become aware
of what you are doing. Then you'll have the power to create change.
This is a list of the 23 most common mistakes public speakers
make with their vocal delivery. Audiences complain about these
- Squeaky and high pitched voice
- Speaking too fast
- Speaking too slowly
- Using jargon and unfamiliar terms
- Accent that can't be understood without great effort
- Poor word choices and poor grammar
- No natural flow of thoughts, or poor logical order
- Not enough white space (pauses), regardless of speaking speed
- Too much white space, stopping the flow
- Thinking out loud, using a stop-start style
- Using run-on sentences that never seem to end
- Ending sentences with the voice going upward, as if asking a
- Mumbling and imprecise diction
- Volume too low
- Volume too high
- Little or no variation in vocal delivery
- Pressured speech, where words come out in a torrent
- Breathy, airy and soft tone
- Nasal tone in voice
- Tripping over certain words
- Using words not suited to the ear of listeners (Speech writing
is for the ear, not the eye, as in reading)
- Flat and monotonic pitch
- Low energy and lifeless, with no enthusiasm
It is not a requirement that a speaker lose
a regional or international accent. They don't need to adopt the
"TV anchor" style of accent-neutrality we hear on the airwaves.
I have enjoyed listening to speakers with quite "heavy" accents,
but they have modified their speaking so everything they said
was easily understandable.
The important basic key is to make the speaking voice "irritation
free" so listeners can readily enjoy themselves. This is a minimum
requirement. To next raise the voice performance to a higher level,
the speaker would then begin to use the voice musically to create
certain experiences for the audience. These would be:
--Suspense and drama
--Quieter, softer moments
--Rousing and exciting times
Your first step in improving your speaking voice is to be aware
of these lists. Then record yourself when you speak. Ask friends
and a speech coach for their opinions. Practice modifying your
voice usage and quality and eventually you will create the speaking
voice that is not only pleasing to audiences, but is an effective
tool for getting your message across with power, dramatic effect
and credibility. Audiences will eagerly respond to your message
more positively and with greater appreciation.
© Copyright 2004 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
LOOKING FOR HELP WRITING YOUR SPEECHES, OR POLISHING YOUR DELIVERY?
- Want to be understood better as a non-native speaker of English?
- Is stage fright holding you back from presenting more often?
- Do your talks need punching up from a professional speech writer?
- Does your career advancement depend on your ability to present
- Need some humor in your talks to liven things up?
- Looking for more audience interaction strategies to create
I can help you with all of those things.
I was on the Board of Directors for the National Speakers Association
for two years and train professional and amateur speakers at all
levels. See details of our Presentation
Coaching Services, or give me a call and let's see how you
can benefit from presentation coaching.
"Bill Cole is a world-class coach... A speaker's speaker."
National Speakers Association
"...a true platform professional and veteran communications expert."
Central Coast Claims Association
4. IN THE NEWS
William B. Cole Consultants founder and CEO Bill Cole published the article
The Tao Of Sales -- The Paradox Of Peak Performance In
Selling in the January issue of Transaction World
Bill writes a monthly column on sales in the national print magazine
Transaction World. You can view current and recent
copies in the on-line version at http://www.TransactionWorld.com
CONSIDERING EXECUTIVE COACHING OR TEAM TRAINING? ANOTHER ENTHUSIASTIC
"You provided us with quick, easy-to-use exercises to help us
get on our A-game."
San Francisco, CA s
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The Mental Game Coach Report
Mind Strategies For Business Productivity
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Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Bill Cole, MS, MA.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance
and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting
firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success
in business, sports and life. For a free, extensive article archive,
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