Get P I S T!!!

OK, it’s not the sort of advice you’d expect from these blogs and indeed even the right spelling! That’s because I’m not advocating a night on the tiles – lovely though that might sound – but instead adopting a new approach to building and sustaining confidence through difficult and challenging times. And may I say at this point, a drink or two to give you Dutch-Courage before a presentation is about the worst thing you could do. You might very well feel better after a stiff drink, but alas it only takes a tiny amount of alcohol before you start slurring your worms… shorry I meant words.

I’ve been wading though Daniel Pink’s new book, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Persuading, Convincing & Influencing Others and jolly good it is too. It’s pretty widely believed that before any challenging event then a good dose of positive self-talk can work wonders. Self-belief is a vital component of confidence – so looking in the mirror and saying ‘I can, I can, I can’ or in other words, telling yourself you can do it, really does work – even if you feel a bit of a fool doing it. However Daniel Pink has unearthed some interesting research that refines that approach to make it even more effective. Researchers have found that ‘interrogative self-talk’ is even better at boosting confidence. Asking yourself “Will I succeed?” is better than telling yourself “I will succeed”.


Firstly questions elicit answers; answers elicit strategies; strategies get you ready. So it might go like this;

Q: Can I deliver a brilliant presentation?

A: Yes! I know this subject inside out and I’ve got some great insights that my audience will find really interesting.

Q: Will I remember to slow down and not talk too quickly?

A: Yes! I know how to do that – I will just remember to ‘pause and breathe’

Secondly we’re all more likely to act, perform well and be motivated to do so if we feel we’re making choices for ourselves rather than being coerced.

So remember – before your next important presentation, get P I S T and succeed.

Positive Interrogative Self-Talk

This entry was posted in Be Confident. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *