Overcoming Nerves

Where’s your Locus of Control around Public Speaking?

Where's your locus of control around public speaking? Control: where do you sit with that word when you think about public speaking? My clients often struggle with feeling out of control in different ways when they’re presenting - either mentally, physically or both. When your sense of control goes, so does your confidence. Loss of control = loss of power, and powerlessness = stress. Your brain actually loses prefrontal function when you feel out of control (that's the higher thinking part). But so long as you have the perception of some control, you get to keep your cognitive functions: in...

How to Overcome Public Speaking Fear

How to Overcome Public Speaking Fear Let's talk about fear today. Fear in general - and public speaking fear in particular. What can be done about it? Is it even possible to learn how to overcome public speaking fear? I've been speaking with one of my private coaching clients this week, who's trying to decide whether or not to join my course; and we ended up having a chat about what she calls her "avoidant tendencies". One part of her wants to do the course and face her fear in front of a group, but the other part of her is...

Three Thinking Traps That Increase Public Speaking Fear

I've heard from hundreds of clients about their fearful thoughts on public speaking - and listened to my own in the days when I used to get very nervous. And I've noticed that there are some styles which just keep popping up! Here are three thinking traps that increase public speaking fear: Thinking Traps That Increase Public Speaking Fear  "I must know more than everyone else in the room"  This thought is a recipe for enormous stress and sleepless nights. It's also something you can't control (see my post the drive for certainty or factors which reduce speaking fear for my thoughts on...

Three Ways to Succeed With Your Public Speaking Goals This Year

Have you made a New Year's resolution to finally succeed with your public speaking goals? Have you decided, finally, to overcome your fear of public speaking, or become a better presenter? I assume that you're interested in the topic, or you wouldn't be reading this article! But have you come up with anything specific to work on? Or are you in for another year of avoidance, despite your best intentions? We usually have a sense of clearing out, of optimism and openness to new desires and goals as each new year rolls around. But we're not so good at making them...

Public Speaking Fear: Four Stage Process To Handle It

Public Speaking Fear: Four Stage Process To Handle It Today I'm doing a video post about my four stage process to finally get unstuck and handle your public speaking fear. These mindset shifts and actions will help you to deal with any fear and anxiety. The video goes for just over 6 minutes. Hope you find it useful!

Vocal Presence – Using your Voice to Own the Space

Vocal Presence - Using your Voice to Own the Space Creating vocal presence Our delivery style is crucial to getting a message across effectively to our audience, and one of the key factors in delivery is using our voice to create power, warmth and persuasiveness. Our voice gives our audience clear messages about our confidence, energy and vitality. When we contract and mentally “turn away” from the audience, our voice follows; we swallow our words, mumble and rush, or become monotonous or ‘lifeless’ in our tone. Of course, one thing which will always affect vocal presence is how much we trust ourselves and...

Tell Your Public Speaking Success Story Backwards

Public Speaking Success Exercise Today's post gives you a short but effective exercise to make positive changes in your public speaking. You might think this technique only works if you're the creative, arty type - this isn't true! I've seen it work with many different personality types, from accountants to software engineers to teachers. I've also used it myself with great results. Part 1. Imagine that it’s now some time in the future - a good time-frame would be six months or a year; don't make it less than three months. You’re talking with a friend or family member - or...

Public Speaking Anxiety – A Drive for Certainty?

Public Speaking Anxiety - A Drive for Certainty? Creating certainty in public speaking Anxiety: it's not only a signal that something needs attention - it can also be a drive to eliminate uncertainty and a sense of loss of control in our lives. And in working with many clients on their public speaking anxiety, I'm frequently seeing that many of them have a strong drive for certainty and control around their speaking. This is a tricky one - because public speaking is an inherently uncertain activity. However, if you recognise yourself as someone who's uncomfortable (or driven mad) by your need for certainty, there...

9 Mistakes Presenters Make

9 Mistakes Presenters Make Mistakes Presenters Make Do you want to be a more dynamic presenter? You will be if you avoid these frequent mistakes. I've discussed all of these ideas in previous articles, but thought it was worth clustering them together for a 'common mistakes' overview.  1. Forgetting the WIIFM filter  One of the most common mistakes that presenters make is forgetting to run their whole presentation through their audience’s No.1 filter – and that is always WIIFM (what’s in it for me?)  From the moment you open your mouth, to the summing-up, you’re being judged through this filter, and in...

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...