Commentary

17 Nov How to Deal With FEAR in 4 Steps

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Fear ignites an immediate flight or freeze response in your body.First you need to calm down both your nervous system and body response in order to think clearly.Here's a focused deep breathing exercise that is extremely helpful. Research...

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14 Nov What to do when your mind goes blank on stage

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This article by Laurie Schloff originally appeared on SpeakerHub
 What will happen if you go blank on stage?Obviously, you will be struck by a lightning bolt and no one will ever talk to you again.Seriously, even experienced speakers have moments when they look at the audience with a frozen stare and wonder:Who are these people?What am I doing here?And what on earth am I supposed to be talking about?The trick is to accept these uncomfortable moments and launch into "Blank-out Recovery".
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27 Oct Beta Testing

An article this week on StatNews.com, a sister site of BostonGlobe.com, reported on a California startup’s plan to broadly market the medication propranolol as a quality-of-life aid, including to reduce nervousness associated with public speaking.Companies looking to innovate and disrupt will continue to explore new solutions to old problems, and vice versa. But this particular idea causes me concern as a speech professional.
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26 Oct Podcast: The Only 3 Ways to Convince Anybody of Anything

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]Being persuasive is the topic most often requested by our clients. We train people all over the world – Fortune 500 executives, managers in companies of all sizes, entrepreneurs, politicians, athletes, and educators – who tell us again and...

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23 Oct I Hate Small Talk

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]Is small talk really so small? Chitchat about unimportant matters provides warm-up time for more meaningful interaction. During small talk, shifts in several dimensions of interaction can occur-from discomfort to comfort, mistrust to trust, im­personal topics to personal...

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04 Oct Overcoming 5 Hurdles That Prevent Success

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]In my experience, there are 5 hurdles that stand to prevent you from being successful. I’ve delved into each below.
  1. Fear
ISSUE: Fear of failure, of not living up to expectations - your own and those of others, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of being ridiculed or singled out in your community, having to go the way alone, the fear of failing, of losing everything, and there are so many more.Fear is a nagging, physical, nervous sensation that eats you up, doesn't let you sleep, keeps you up at night or greets you first thing in the morning, inhibiting clear thinking.SOLUTION: First thing in the morning, jolt your body into action when you wake up: do 10 push-ups coming straight out of bed. Not 5, not 50, just 10. This will set you up for a great day ahead as your body gets all the right triggers to get going.In your morning routine, take 5 minutes to focus on what you DO want, not what you don't want as so many do. Write it physically down on a piece of paper every single day - and keep that paper with you during the day as a reminder (not on your phone, computer, tablet etc - on a piece of paper in your handwriting). Your mind and body will shift gears from fear to determination.Do this every single day. For how long? Every.Single.Day. This is your personal GPS keeping you on track. Try it, it works.
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26 Sep Tradeshow Voice

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you ever lost your voice at a tradeshow?We’ve all been there. It’s day 3 of the show, your staff is complaining of aching feet and backs, overall body energy is down, yet there are still 2 more days left to go in the show. Their voices are starting to crack, coughing more often, clearing thoughts, or worse - voices become horse! How do you keep your staff from getting that trade show voice?Your voice is your tool, and as with any tool, you need to maintain it if you want it to function well. When you are at a tradeshow, the people you meet and speak with have an average of 2 minutes to judge you and your company. They look at a few things, such as what your booth looks like, how you are dressed, what are you selling, what you are saying and most importantly how you are saying it?There are 3 tips you should follow to ensure that you and your staff maintain a strong, clear, and confident tradeshow voice.
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19 Sep People Complain That I’m Too Loud

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most of us instinctively do a good job of setting our volume so that it takes into account the distance between ourselves and listeners, the amount of background noise, and the degree to which we want to broadcast...

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06 Sep Mastering Self–Communication

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of the most important skills to master in our life is self-communication.What thoughts are swirling around in your head on a daily basis? Are you aware of them? These thoughts inhibit our life force and energy, especially...

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29 Aug I Never Remember People’s Names After I’m Introduced

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]People with a good memory for names are not mental wizards, but they do devote more mental energy to remembering them than those of us who suffer temporary amnesia at the sight of Bill-Phil-or-was-it-Will. The cure for name...

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25 Aug Perception is Reality…At Least for the Moment

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text] I always remind my clients that “everything communicates”. How you appear in that moment, and sound in that moment to your listener, send a message about you. The ability to be natural, who you are, and authentic, this is most people’s goal. I believe a great way to reach that goal is to: strengthen your ability to control the impression you make on others.  Perception is reality…. At least for the moment you are communicating it. So the question is how does one control this in a world where so many things feel beyond our control? Get ready- because taking your communication effectiveness to its next level is a 3 Level process. Level one: Self-awareness. What is the current message you are sending? How are you projecting confidence and what may be taking away from that? Often my clients will say, “ I don’t like the sound of my voice” or “I never watch myself on video”. If you don't hear it or see it, how can you know what is working?  Level one for many is the hardest part. Be brave.  Try this: Turn your video on your phone and deliver a message to yourself, maybe it’s a quick business update or a voice message you’re about to leave. Watch it back. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the center.
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18 Aug Man vs Beast

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]What a tragedy in Charlottesville.  From a speech coaching perspective, this is yet he recent another indication that our species has not entirely evolved to the point where we can talk and listen to one another.It was Aristotle...

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24 Jul How you can add real value to your business

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of the biggest challenges in business is how to create 'value'.  Boyd Stough of Espy Revenue recently interviewed me about this issue for a new installment of his business podcasts.  In our conversation, we talked extensively about...

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19 Jul Screen Calls Appropriately

[vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]When screening calls, you take an incoming call and try to find out who is calling and what the caller wants.  Screening is most commonly done by a receptionist who needs to direct calls, and by secretaries and...

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10 Jul Why are you so fearful of public speaking?

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]I spend a lot of time reading articles from magazines, newspapers, and blogs whose authors proclaim they have the solutions for the fear of public speaking. The reality is there is no solution to that fear. As a person who has spoken for 25 years as well as coached others for the last ten, there will never come a time when you are cured. The fact is fear is a part of public speaking. You can be anxious because it is a new topic that you are speaking on, you didn’t prepare as well as you would have liked, or you really want the speech to go well, the reasons are endless.One of the root causes of this fear is always the same. We are not always afraid of giving the speech or really even what comes out of our mouths. For the most part, we are always concerned with what are listeners are thinking about us and the message. The underlying and all-pervasive reality is listeners contribute to our fear, and since speaking by ourselves is never going to get anyone anywhere it will always be with us. The question then becomes how do I deal with managing my fear of my listeners?Now don't get me wrong. I do not think we are afraid of our listeners because they exist. I doubt many of us look at the people in a board room or in an audience or even a client and think "Goodness, I am afraid of these human beings!" No, we are afraid of the judgement they will pass. Do they like us, our voice, the speech, and will they take the actions we are suggesting? So when dealing with the fear of public speaking, one must come to terms with not being able to control the listeners or what they are thinking. Using my extensive experience as well as research into listener psychology, I offer the following tips to help with that:
  1. People are more predictable than you think!

When we think of groups of people, whether our managers, listeners, or customers, they all share commonalities. All groups of people share common attributes we can consider as we prepare a speech. We share age ranges, gender, socioeconomic backgrounds, family make-up, race, sociopolitical background, etc. The more you know about who you are presenting to, the better. As you uncover this information, people become more

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