Do you Struggle with Public Speaking?

Do you struggle with public speaking? Do you struggle with public speaking? Does the battle with fear or dislike of presenting exhaust you, or stop you from achieving your career goals? In this article I’ll discuss four lenses through which to look at your challenge. My hope is that it will help you with a different perspective and some fresh ideas - or to see old ideas in a fresh way! First, a quick back-story on my own experience and struggle with public speaking. I used to be one of those incoherent, incapable "I'm only pretending to be here, don't look...

How to Show Warmth to Any Audience

How can we deliberately show warmth to any audience? Or to a person we're about to communicate with 1:1? No matter what sort of a mood we're in before we speak, or how we feel about that audience? And fast? I've been working with a client this week on exactly this concept. I asked him how he believed he came across in meetings with his team when he opened the conversation - was there any specific process that he followed at the start? His reply was basically "No process...and how do I come across? It depends on how I'm feeling". This is...

Public speaking for beginners: practice, belief and ability

Today let's think about public speaking for beginners. Practice, belief and ability: how do they work when you're learning something new? Public Speaking for Beginners: Practice, Belief and Ability We all know the uncertainty and challenges which can kick in when we try something new. I bet if you think for a moment, something you've attempted in the past few years will come up for you. It can be scary to try something different, can't it? Our sense of self can take a knock as we're pushed off-centre. Negative self-talk usually kicks in at times. And in something like public speaking particularly,...

Balancing Certainty with Curiosity As a Speaker

In this video, I discuss balancing certainty with curiosity as a speaker. There's so much opinionated certainty nowadays - particularly online. And I have strong opinions myself! So my thoughts are around the 'dance' of how we come across to an audience when we present. Of course we need to be certain about our data, facts and figures, and our key messages. But too much certainty and we can seem arrogant, dismissive, inflexible. The perfect antidote to this: balancing certainty with curiosity as a speaker. Being open to the topic as you prepare, and the audience in the moment, and...

Public Speaking Resilience Using the 3 C’s

Public Speaking Resilience Using the 3 C's In this video I talk about how important it is to boost public speaking resilience using your mindset. There's great research about what works to make people resilient in life, and these "3 C's" from two researchers - done over nearly 40 years - can be applied really well to public speaking too. Transcript - Today we're going to take a look at gaining more resilience and re-framing our thinking around public speaking. So how we frame something in our mind has a really big impact on our body. And if we say to ourselves "oh...

Two Brain ‘Fuels’ You Need When Speaking in Public

Have you ever thought about what brain 'fuels' you need when speaking in public? In today's video post, I discuss the two brain fuels you need when speaking in public, why they matter, and how to get more of them. Without them, you'll be much more likely to blank out, or feel yourself slowing down. You probably know the feeling when you're hungry and your mind starts to slow - or where your brain actually feels like it freezes and you can't think what you meant to say next. It's just horrible when that happens in front of a group, and...

Public Speaking Fear Roadblocks and How to Get Past Them

Public Speaking Fear Roadblocks and How to Get Past Them Do you put up public speaking fear roadblocks? Do they stop you from achieving your goals…or one goal in particular? Are you just completely "over" it? In this post, I’ll discuss some common types of fear, and three ways to get past  your own fear roadblocks and improve your public speaking. And settle in: this is a long article, as I want to go into some detail.  I used to be one of those incoherent, incapable "I'm only pretending to be here, don't look at me!" speakers. When I remember awful,...

How Low Confidence Can Help You

How Low Confidence Can Help You Become a Better Speaker You've probably heard the idea that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Confidence is the key to success. But what if this isn't true? Or vital to get ahead in life? So much research nowadays points to the fact that low confidence isn’t a bad thing. In fact, having low confidence can help you in a business environment - and can actually increase your chances of success. And high confidence isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Think about someone you know who’s very confident  - is there...

Three key factors which reduce speaking stress

Studying 'stress hardiness' research is part of what I do to help clients become more resilient presenters; and there's been a lot of interesting work done in this area over the past nearly 40 years by two psychologists, Salvatore Maddi and Suzanne Kobasa. They've worked with 1000's of  Control, commitment and challenge - key factors which reduce speaking stress professionals and have found three critical factors in resilient people. Resilience shows up when people go through life stressors and come out the other side showing the ability to grow and thrive. (Whereas non-resilient people suffer physical and/or mental ill-health.) These three critical...

Are your Public Speaking Expectations Helping or Hindering You?

I've always had high expectations of myself - and my family environment growing up was a big part of that. (A very high-achieving Cambridge-educated half brother and sister 11 and 13 years older than me set the bar high!). And part of this background has meant that I've always strived for future goals - and not always celebrated successes along the way. Always pushing and working towards something just out of reach - and when it was reached, moving right on to the next thing with barely any acknowledgement. This is a stressful way to live! As you'll know if you...