Losing Train of Thought While Speaking? Try This!
Imagine how uncomfortable it is when you are speaking…
Then suddenly, you lose your train of thought.
Others look at you puzzled.
They wonder, ‘is this guy broken?’
And you stand there looking embarrassed.
Wondering what happened.
If this happens occasionally, it’s one thing.
If it’s happening too many times to count, then it’s something to investigate.
Thinking impacts speaking.
The 2 are connected.
If thoughts are messy then the speech will not be smooth.
In this post, you’ll learn why you are consistently losing your train of thought.
By the way…
This is not going to be a nice post. It may make you uncomfortable.
Don’t worry though.
I’m going to get the uncomfortable part out of the way in the beginning, so I can give you 4 exercises to build focus & speak better.
I have a friend who routinely interrupts others when they are speaking.
He is full of enthusiasm when he is talking.
But by the time someone else is speaking, he is off in Lala land.
- Low energy.
- Questions that do not fit the context of the conversation.
- And a low sense of urgency.
Imagine my surprise when I noticed this guy continuously loses his train of thought when speaking.
(By the way, I wasn’t surprised at all).
Rather than saying something like:
‘I think I’m losing my train of thought because I’m too focused on myself.’
The first thing he says is:
‘I’m almost positive that I have ADD!’
(ADD = Attention Deficit Disorder)
He says this with enthusiasm.
Knowing that if he can validate that he has ADD, then it will give him a jail-free card for his bad behavior.
Do people suffer from ADD?
Do people make excuses that lead them to manufacture ADD in their minds?
This friend should be more present.
If he can do that, then he won’t always be in his head.
Laser-like thoughts are easier to control.
Let’s understand how to unlock laser focus.
Verbalize Why You Keep Losing your Train of Thought
Imagine you keep losing your train of thought.
The first thing to do is admit that this is a pain point in your communication.
‘I have to admit this?’
We all have pain points by the way.
Some people’s mouth gets very dry when they speak.
Others have a sharp voice that makes them sound mean.
Barack Obama, who was known to be one of the most articulate speakers of all time said a ton of filler words.
Flaws are a part of communication.
If you can acknowledge it, that’s when you turn this ambiguous issue into something REAL.
When it becomes REAL, it’s much easier to control.
Otherwise, you end up losing your train of thought consistently.
‘How do I make it real Armani?’
- Articulate your pain point + Articulate why you think this pain is occurring.
If I was my friend who kept losing his train of thought, I’d say something like:
‘I keep losing my train of thought while speaking. I believe this is happening because I keep planning what to say next. Which causes me to further disengage myself from the conversation. Plus, I haven’t taken any active measures to improve my focus.’
Was the line above long?
But it’s better to have a long line that you can trim away from vs a short line where you are struggling to add on content.
Why do you think you keep losing your train of thought?
4 Exercises to Build a Stronger Focus
Losing your train of thought is a lot like shyness.
Because shy people may think that shyness goes away on its own.
So, they spend years being shy waiting for that one day when their personality changes!
Bad news bud.
The personality doesn’t change until you put in some work.
For the shy guy, it’s about speaking up a bit more in each interaction.
Or tackling the beast head-on by picking up public speaking.
Both paths will help.
Likewise, there are multiple paths you can follow to be present & in the moment.
Here are a few.
Journaling is when you write down your thoughts.
How you journal is completely up to you.
One method is the Free Flow method.
This is when you journal whatever is on your mind without any rules.
The only thing you need to do is write.
The benefit of Free Flow journaling is that it gets you familiar with your thoughts.
Plus, the act of writing by hand connects the body with the mind. Which allows you to remain present in future interactions.
The Story Mode Journal is designed for the Free Flow Method.
Check it out here:
Another journaling method is the Creative Writing Prompts route.
Slightly more advanced.
This is when you write down your thoughts while following a prompt.
‘Write a story about the darkest moment of your life in 1 page.’
This guides the thoughts towards a topic & allows you to exercise creativity.
Since you are gathering your thoughts to bring the prompt to life, focus skyrockets.
It’s a game of practice.
The Idea Machine has 333 writing prompts that you can test out to boost creativity.
Check it out here:
2. Impromptu Speaking
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice I bring up impromptu speaking a lot.
If you’re new, then guess what…I bring up impromptu speaking a lot!
Because it works.
It’s meditation out loud.
You are focusing on a string of thoughts and articulating those thoughts.
To get started, pick a topic & give a 1–2-minute talk on it.
You can do this in private or in public.
Private would be when you speak to yourself in the car or in front of your phone camera.
Either method works.
In my opinion, meditation is advanced.
If you are interested, let me give you a very basic practice.
Find a quiet room and count your natural breaths.
Expect the mind to wander.
When the mind wanders, make yourself aware and come back to your natural breaths.
The part where you BRING YOUR MIND BACK is what plants the seeds of focus.
It’s like you are doing a bicep curl for the mind.
Meditation is advanced, yes.
But the benefits are undeniable to the patient soul with iron grit.
4. Actively Listen in Conversations
There is a difference between active listening & passive listening.
Passive listening is like a sponge.
Active listening is like a trampoline.
A sponge absorbs.
When you are doing sponge listening, you are absorbing & doing a lot of ‘mhms’ and gentle head nods.
Unless you’re a shoulder to cry on, adopt active listening.
A trampoline amplifies.
By being active, you prevent yourself from going off in Lala land.
The better you listen, the better you speak.
Be more active, and you will avoid being like my friend who cried ADD.
Capture your Mind & Quit Losing your Train of Thought
If you are going to get anything out of this article, just know that the mind is a muscle.
It can be trained & worked out.
You just need a path & practice.
Find something that works for you in the suggestions that I gave.
Journaling, impromptu speaking, meditation, active listening.
Who knows how far you are in your journey?
You may be doing some of these (or all these) already.
If you find something else that suits your path, then try that out!
Just avoid pushing off accountability to a medical condition so fast.
If you have trouble focusing even after putting in work, then get it checked out by a medical professional.
But make sure you attempt to take matters into your own hands before getting others involved.
Concentration skills symbolize accountability.
It is the portal that creates brilliant speakers & winners who will move the world.
For more practical tips to build focus & sharpen speaking skills, join 4000+ subscribers in my free daily newsletter.