I was asked recently, “do you help people manage anxiety about public speaking on your retreats and online courses?”
I said, yes we do.
How? They asked.
We encourage clients to establish new pathways in the brain. This happens by learning through repetition to physically change the brain as there can be no change in behaviour without it. His response was, ‘what?’ I know that seems like an earful.
In short we help you change the way you think about presenting and public speaking. This change in your thinking reduces anxiety. We change they way you respond to public speaking scenarios. This happens through practice, which changes what you do when presenting or public speaking.
How do we help people be less anxious about public speaking?
Take for example, your voice. Let’s consider the mechanism that could help your voice be the most powerful tool in your presentation arsenal.
At a cognitive level we help clients to think about the mechanics of their voice. How “belly-breathing” and the regular use of facial warm-up exercises can alter the way you physically feel when preparing for a talk or presentation, and how this can help you manage your nerves. This fuels positive energy, reduces anxiety and improves your personal presence – you ability to connect with the thoughts and feelings of others in order to motivate and inspire.
What is happening?
The science bit is quite simple. You begin to establish new neurological pathways that physically change your brain.
Through repeating physical exercises you begin to think of yourself as confident speaker. Your physical body tells you about how you feel. You begin to “like” the way you think about these physical feelings. You are forming alternative thinking patterns.
Belly-breathing is breathing – it’s childs play…
William, my 8 year old son could be an excellent public speaker. He is a master of belly-breathing. He always has been. We, on the other hand, forget.
Our process in Truth.Works. involves taking people back to their past. A time when we first learnt to breathe. So we spend lots of time investigating not only your presenting and public speaking history, but also your personal history.
Many coaches tend to listen to the events in a person’s life, but we ask “what were the processes by which you were making meaning from those events?”. In short we ask why you responded in certain ways to these events.
Here are some questions which may help you manage anxiety and improve your personal presence:
- When you last presented, what did you do to prepare?
- How did you feel before, during and after your presentation? What worked well? What could you do to improve?
- And what does this say to you about the way you go about being a public speaker and/or presenter?
- What does this mean to you as a business owner?
If you approach your presenting in this way you’ll begin to master public speaking, reduce anxiety and connect better with others. Opportunities (online or in time face-to-face) like pitches, board presentations, client meetings and networking will be less concerning for you. You may find you’ll develop a new desire to present.
You may find you have a new voice and so will your business.