Public Speaking Fear: How Breathing will Help

Public Speaking Fear: How Breathing Will Help Think about public speaking fear and breathing: this may be a topic you resist. You may think you’ve heard it all before, or you've Public speaking fear: how breathing will help tried working with your breath and didn't find it helpful. That certainly used to be my experience, and I've had a client recently who told me it didn't work, because he could only do a breath or two before his negative thoughts started up again. I told him it's inevitable that our thoughts are always there, just keep coming back to the breath; and that...

12 Essential Truths About Public Speaking, Fear and Growth

12 Essential Truths about Public Speaking, Fear and Growth 12 Essential Truths about Public Speaking, Fear and Growth Speaking in public is a complex activity with a lot of moving parts: especially when fear is involved, as it so often is: it brings up vulnerability and challenges for so many of my clients (and before I learned how to work through it in the right ways, for me). From recent conversations with clients and what's resonated with them, I've distilled some of my observations about public speaking, fear and growth which I believe to be true, and hopefully useful to you. That: 1....

Three Factors Which Reduce Public Speaking Fear

How to reduce public speaking fear; as it's always such a popular topic, here are 3 ways to help reduce your anxiety: A Sense of Control will Reduce Public Speaking Fear Increase your sense of control Get annoyed! Be willing to act The first way: Increase your sense of control. Feeling a sense of control in a stressful situation is really important in making it manageable. I recently discovered Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and writer. In a short radio interview, Chris talks about fear and control: "in my experience, fear comes from not knowing what to expect, and not feeling you have any control over what's...

What Navy Seals Can Teach Us About Reducing Public Speaking Fear

There's an interesting article in Psychology Today about 4 techniques the U.S. Navy Seals used to increase their training pass rates -  and because all 4 tools are ones which I  use when coaching clients about reducing public speaking fear, I thought I'd share the Seals training techniques with you. Navy Seals are an elite force in the U.S. military who have to undergo very intense training so that they can deal with specific situations in hostile territory. The original article by Bakari Akil II is here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-central/200911/how-the-navy-seals-increased-passing-rates. Here's an excerpt from it, describing the issues the Seals were having...

What to do When your Negative Voice Gatecrashes your Presentation

Negative inner voice during presentation - typical audience listening face Have you ever had the experience while presenting of looking out at the audience and seeing only a sea of blank faces? You look at them and immediately get discouraged; the negative self-talk kicks in: "John looks bored, this must be really bad" or "that woman's just looked at her watch again...I'd better speed up!" (which is usually a bad move, as we tend to accelerate when nervous anyway). I Hearing my negative inner critic voice during my presentation used to be an issue for me, especially when I was a...

8 Reasons Why you Feel Anxious about Public Speaking

Why you feel anxious about public speaking There are very real reasons why public speaking is so uncomfortable for most people, both because of how our brains are 'wired', and also in how we relate to the outer world. Today I'm going to share with you some of the reasons why we feel anxious about public speaking. Firstly, let's look at what I call our brain's fear timeline: our initial 'wiring', way back in the mists of time, our own past, and our future. Our brains’ fear timeline Our ancestral past In primitive times when we were cave-dwellers, our very survival was at stake...

Two Great Ways to Open your Talk, Especially if you’re Nervous

Make your Audience Think to Focus and Engage Them The opening of your presentation is often the part where you're most nervous or self-conscious. You're faced with pairs of eyes looking at you, the audience feels like it's one big stare, and you're not enjoying the sudden attention. What can you do to take some of the unwanted focus off yourself, and create an engaging, effective start to your speech? Here are two ways which really work: Make a statement Ask a question Keep reading, because I probably haven't convinced you that these ideas are all that startling or great just  yet! I'll explain why...

How to Increase your Self-confidence in Public Speaking (and Life)

Imagine that you're looking for advice on how to increase your self-confidence in public speaking. You want to build self-worth in that part of your life, so you come to see me as a client. You tell me that you're afraid of failure (aren't most of us?); that your confidence fluctuates - or is totally absent. Whichever applies, you can't rely on any confidence being there when you most need it during presentations. And you tell me that you have to tackle this problem, as it's holding you back professionally (and sometimes personally). Increase your self-confidence in public speaking I could...

Which Music Can Make you Feel More Powerful Before you Present?

What Music Makes You Feel More Powerful? Updated October 2019 We all know that music can have a strong effect on our emotions (I've only ever met one person who claimed that music didn't affect her at all). And there was a study done back in 2014 about which types of music make you feel more powerful, and lead to "higher perceived control over social events". The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, was inspired by the pre-game routines of athletes (Hsu et al., 2014). The authors explored 31 pieces from different genres of music (sports music, heavy metal, punk, reggae,...

As a presenter, should you be interesting, or interested?

Be an interested presenter, not interesting When I was younger I used to worry that I was never interesting enough as a person; I was quite shy, and never one of the cool girls...and I used to fret that I had nothing special or exciting to say socially. Well one of the great things I've found about getting older is that I've become pretty comfortable with who I am - and I no longer worry when presenting to groups that I'm not an interesting or dynamic enough speaker. I know that my content is solid, and that the right audience...