The value of visualization lies in the fact that it’s the “next best thing to being there.” If done properly, it’s the best substitute for actual experience. It’s synthetic experience.
Vividly Imagined Experiences Resemble Reality
In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz states that a person’s nervous system can’t distinguish between a real experience and one which has been vividly imagined. This means that, to your nervous system, a lifelike, imagined experience is nearly the same as a real experience.
You’ll note that he was referring to an experience which is vividly imagined. Therefore, if it is to be effective, it must replicate, or at least approximate, actual experience as much as possible.
Actual experiences involve thousands of details, even if we don’t consciously pay particular attention to most of them. Nevertheless, we see and hear much more than we focus on. As proof, stop reading and look at any object. While doing so, notice all the other impressions your eyes take in simultaneously. Also, what are you now hearing, but not actively listening to? Those sights and sounds were all experienced while glancing at the one object you focused on.
Likewise, to approximate reality, an imagined experience which is convincing to us would need to include as many small details as possible, including the colors, shapes and sizes of objects, as well as sounds and feelings. It would need to be as vivid as we can make it.
How Do You Benefit?
Since nervousness about speaking to an audience tends to diminish as your speaking experience grows, you can reduce your nervousness greatly by vividly visualizing future speaking engagements. The idea would be to supply as many details as we can imagine, to “create” the experience before it actually happens. Repeating this process often would give you that “been there, and done that” feeling of familiarity.
It can also affect the quality of your presentation. By preparing well and supplementing this preparation with detailed mental previews of the success of your presentation, you’ll do well.
How to Use Your Amazing Ability to Visualize
In this movie you’re creating, you’ll hear yourself being introduced, and see yourself calmly preparing to speak. You pause momentarily, smile and begin giving your introduction in a clear, steady voice.
As you speak, you observe the way members of the audience are dressed, and the faces of the individuals in the first few rows. See them smile and notice how some nod their heads in agreement as you speak to them.
You’ll also supply the way you want to feel when addressing this audience. Imagine yourself enjoying your presentation. Savor the confidence you feel as you share the information you have diligently prepared.
This process allows you, to the extent humanly possible, to write the script for the success of your next presentation!