How strong is your mind-to-mouth connection?

One of the things we’re always aiming for when we speak is to be clear. Sometimes to be impactful as well, but definitely to be clear. 

[Video content is below, too, if you prefer to watch.] And one of the key reasons that we don’t achieve this clarity goal is when our mouth is ahead of our mind: we don't have a strong mind-to-mouth connection.  When our mouth is running the show, any of these issues can happen. I'm sure you'll recognise yourself in at least one of them! Most people do at least one of these on a regular basis. We: Ramble ...

Don’t fight reality when speaking in public

Many of my clients try to fight or deny the reality of their situation when they have a presentation or important event coming up. And I've found, interestingly, that while it’s more for fearful or anxious clients, it's also common with highly confident clients who lack the time or focus to devote to their talks or presentations. Fighting your reality plays out in three different timeframes. You may recognise all, or just one of them:

1st: leading up to the event.

You procrastinate and put off preparing your slide deck or notes. In fact you may not give yourself any thinking time at...

Why and How to Practise Speaking Under Pressure

The why - and how - to practise speaking under pressure: why it matters, and 2 super-practical tips. Do you ever get frustrated by the fact that you can practise and be fine at home or in front of the dog...but when you get into the actual space, things start to unravel? Or you feel more stressed than you thought you would, and that catches you by surprise? Here's a 2-minute video on how to put yourself under deliberate pressure in order to increase your capacity when you're actually speaking. By testing yourself in the ways I mention in the video - and there...

Low Clarity Equals Low Impact When Speaking

Low clarity equals low impact and it's so common when speaking in public: in fact it's one of the key areas my client and I focus on. Whether you're experienced or just starting out, it's easy to forget just how important being clear with our goal(s) for speaking and messages are. It's also important if you want your words to be remembered.

Why is lack of clarity so common?

I usually find there's one big reason that can then lead into lots of smaller ones: Low thinking time prior to presenting or speaking. It actually doesn't matter either if people are experienced presenters who've been...

Speaking Too Fast When Presenting

If you find that you're regularly speaking too fast when presenting, there can be many reasons for this. Nerves, enthusiasm for your topic, or your natural speaking style are just a few. And when this happens and your mouth is moving faster than your brain, it's easy to feel out of control and say something you don't intend to, stumble or make mistakes. Is this typically you when you speak? You can end up gabbling and accelerating, sometimes chaotically, to the end. And breathing properly? Demonstrating presence? Forget that! Presence doesn't exist when we're not present - and rushing means exactly that.

Instead,...

4 Steps to Stay in Control when Challenged by an Audience Member

If you speak regularly in front of groups, at some point you're probably going to have your ideas, opinion or control challenged. And it may not be a perspective you hold lightly. Sometimes audience members can touch a nerve or challenge a deeply held value…if this has ever happened to you, you'll know that it can hit hard. Or perhaps you're not holding a strong viewpoint, but simply feel a bit raw that day: something in your life isn't working, or you feel vulnerable or unwell. I've certainly had to step up and run a group or speak to an audience while...

Powerful Internal Questions to Influence Up

Some powerful internal questions to influence up, if you're nervous or threatened by hierarchy. Hierarchy challenges can rear up for a lot of people. Even when confident, that sense of "less than" can be a real issue. It can help a lot to reframe what you're aiming to achieve. Asking yourself powerful questions such as "How can I contribute here? How can I help these people with my information?" can make a difference. Or finding a way to generate a feeling of 'peer to peer' discussion by asking yourself - prior to the conversation or presentation - questions such as: "What will make this feel...

A Powerful Way to Increase Speaking Confidence

Hello! A video for you with transcript below about one powerful way to increase your confidence in speaking.     https://vimeo.com/sarahdenholm/powerful-way Transcript: Ok, we talk to ourselves all the time, don't we? And we have automatic thoughts, and some of those thoughts and questions that we might be asking ourselves all day long, are, variations on different categories such as reassuring ourselves about something: we might be giving ourselves advice about what to do next. We might be talking negatively to ourselves that we're not capable of doing something or this is not going well. And a 4th category, and one that I particularly...

2 Things To Consume Before Public Speaking

We all know the importance of practising before we give a presentation or talk. But sometimes you may not be so aware that what we eat and drink can have a big impact on our performance too. So today I want to give you some tips into 2 things to consume before public speaking, and why they're so important. And if you skim this post and think you know these tips already: you might just find a couple of tweaks that can make even more of a difference.

1. Water

Pretty obvious one, right? We need to stay hydrated to think clearly. And also...

Unconscious Speaking Habits May Be Holding You Back

Are you aware of what you do with your hands, or if you use many filler words (like, um, you know) when communicating? And that these unconscious speaking habits may be holding you back?

Most people aren't that aware - and this is often a good thing! We have enough to do to get through each day without finding something else to work on, let's face it. And a few filler works like 'um' aren't an issue. (The problem comes when they multiply and become a barrier for the listener.) Likewise with gesturing. We gesture to help us think, and it's important not...