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Why Speaking Anxiety Can Be a Good Thing

Why Speaking Anxiety Can Be a Good Thing

Fear of public speaking is a common form of anxiety. Everyone gets nervous before giving a speech. Full disclosure – I get nervous too. In fact I rarely eat much before a presentation. (About 15 minutes into my speech or workshop I’m starving!)

How can anxiety be useful in public speaking?

Public speaking creates an increase in adrenaline. What you do with this extra jolt separates those that become miserable at the lectern vs those that become more energized.

How can you capitalize on this extra jolt of energy?

  • Accept the obvious. Do NOT wish this anxiety to go away. That takes you down a slippery negative slope. You can’t undo these nerves and then you feel even more anxiety when the nervousness persists!
  • Do the reverse. Say to yourself, “Great – I’ve got this extra energy. All good.”
  • Don’t say, “I’m nervous”. Say, “I’m excited”. It makes a difference.
  • Think of this boost of adrenaline as a shot of caffeine.
  • Do all of the steps we’ve blogged about to ensure your success, like being prepared, knowing your audience, getting to the venue early, drinking room temp water, practicing out loud and doing some pre vocal warmups.

What happens if you are NOT nervous/excited?

What if your upcoming speech is the 29th time you’re giving the exact same message? You’re almost lethargic. Not good!

Find ways to add some nervousness/energy … as counter-intuitive as this sounds.

  • Shake it up – rework your topic.
  • Create new visuals.
  • Try new material.

The paradox of the fear of public speaking

You need the extra adrenaline. Use it to add more energy to your delivery. It’s a good thing.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and she always has nuts or a protein bar with her at a speaking gig to snack on once her appetite kicks in.

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Communicate Well: Your Secret Weapon

Communicate Well: Your Secret Weapon

Our attention spans rival those of a mosquito.

21 ways to enhance your audience’s retention

Last week’s blog explains the surprising truth about being memorable. First – your listeners comprehend what you’re showing (visual mode), second – by what you’re saying (auditory mode) and … third – by what you’re doing (kinesthetic mode).

While your spatial movement comes in last place in this triad, it’s got the power to cement what you’re showing and saying in the brain cells of your audience.

Your movement do’s

  • Walk on & pause before talking & establish eye contact with your group.
  • Face the audience.
  • Stand with arms resting at your sides, when not gesturing.
  • Stand with weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  • Be natural. Use your hands & arms.
  • Sit with good posture, if seated. (And don’t rock in your chair!)
  • Move around with purpose.
    • Speak on Point #1, then move.
    • Speak on Point #2, then move.
    • When you move quickly, you stir the audience. When you move slowly you keep them entranced.
  • Stand CENTER STAGE for your most important comments.
  • Post speech: pause w eye contact before leaving stage.

Your movement don’ts

  • Box Trot: Moving around in an imaginary square.
  • Cha-Cha-Cha: Taking one step forward and one step back repetitively.
  • Tennis Game: Pacing back and forth. Is your audience watching a tennis match?
  • Cruise Ship: Swaying … shifting your weight from leg to leg.
  • Fiddling Fingers: Picking at your cuticles.
  • Fig Leaf: Hands clasped below your waist.
  • Parade Rest: Hands clasped behind your back.
  • Stern Father: Arms crossed just below your chest.
  • Thigh Intrigue: Hands in your pockets.
  • Pen/Paper Massage: Playing with laser pointer, pen, and/or paper.
  • Arthritic Arm: One hand holding the opposite arm.
  • Itchy Face & Scalp Disease: Hands on your face or in your hair.

Your secret communication weapon

Move with purpose. Don’t detract from your message by being unaware of your stance, posture and gestures.

It’s not about speaking… it’s about getting heard!

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and admires the tenacity of mosquitos even with their limited attention spans.

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

© photo: 123RF

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Who Would Hire You?

Who Would Hire You?

3 Critical Factors to Incorporate

Let’s say you face a crummy medical diagnosis. How do you decide on a medical doctor?

The way you make that decision utilizes the same steps you’d embrace to hire anyone that’s critical for your business. Vice versa – the same factors apply to anyone hiring you.

In a NYT article “A Doctor’s Guide to a Good Appointment”, Danielle Ofri, M.D. writes, “These days it’s easier to pick out a blender than a doctor.” There are far more online accurate comparisons for a kitchen appliance!

3 Tips to Choosing a Good Doctor

Dr. Ofri suggests using these tips to choose a good doctor:

  • A doctor who takes his or her time talking with you, as opposed to making you feel like you’re at a drive-through fast-food joint.
  • A doctor who engages his or her patients in decision-making, as opposed to simply rattling off a to-do list.
  • A doctor who you can get in touch with on the phone or through secure email.

3 Tips to Get Hired

Dr. Ofri’s tips apply to you – whether you pitch a product/service OR your business hires a new VP/partner/board member.

Take time and listen. Do you diminish others by not making them feel like the only one in the room? How often do you rush the conversation, monopolize the discourse, or make the other person feel like a Big Mac hamburger rolling along the conveyor belt?

Engage and Include. On a Top Ten List on how to motivate your team “getting paid” takes 4th place. Yes – your employees work to get paid to do their lives. But in our Great Resignation period of time (and beyond) employ Tip #1 and Tip #2: Engage. And include your teams in decision-making.

Be Approachable. I asked a new client during our pitch call, “What questions do you have?” He asked a few and then I said, there’s one more, “Does Karen disappear in-between meetings?” I answered my own question 😎 with, “You can always text, call or email if you have comments and questions.”

Just like with your favorite physician – you want to be known as a company that listens, engages, includes, and responds. Quid pro quo – to get hired follow these same principles.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and just bought a new blender.

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

© photo: https://www.123rf.com/

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