Tag Archives: anxiety

trauma response-public speaking anxiety

17 Nov

Did something early in live create your fear of public speaking?

Did something early in life create your fear of public speaking?

Public speaking anxiety is usually something that originates in early childhood. Perhaps a child was shouted at by a stressed parent when they tried to speak up, or had an early traumatic experience speaking out at school. This causes a trauma response to be attached to the idea of public speaking, and so every time that person is required to speak in public, the trauma is “triggered”. Experts explain that the way to deal with a public speaking anxiety is to remove the emotional tag from the experience – so speaking in front of others no longer triggers the old trauma. This is entirely possible, but is unlikely to happen of its own accord. Most people with this fear need outside help.

“Getting Rid of Weakness in Communication” by Keith Scott

3 Nov

Are you wondering if I can really teach you how to communicate?  Sign up and check me out!

10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
“Getting Rid of Weakness in Communication”
Led by: SECU, Keith Scott, President /CEO, Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce-Small Business Resource Center

Fall 2013 Business Growth Expo

Network, make connections and learn how to grow your business at our Fall 2013 Business Growth Expo!

  • When: Thursday, November 7, 2013,8:00am-12:00pm Add to my calendar
  • Where: Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn245 Shawan Road Hunt Valley MD 21031
  • Suggested Dress: Business attire

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/event/83641#eventDetails

People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it.

29 Oct

TALLspeaking tips before, during, and after your presentation!

  1. Don’t abuse your visuals – Usually your visuals are posters, charts, but never use PowerPoint .  Whatever your visuals may be, keep them simple and don’t put too many words on them. The audience isn’t there to read your slides, they are there to listen to you present.
  2. Look at the audience – If you ever wondered where you should be looking when presenting, the answer is right in front of you. Don’t just single out one person, but instead try to make eye contact with numerous people throughout the room. If you don’t do this then you aren’t engaging the audience, you are just talking to yourself. This can result in an utter lack of attention from your audience.
  3. Show your personality – It doesn’t matter if you are presenting to a corporate crowd or to senior citizens, you need to show some character when presenting. If you don’t do this you’ll probably sound like Agent Smith from the Matrix. Nobody wants to hear him present
  4. Make them laugh – Although you want to educate your audience, you need to make them laugh as well. I learned this from Guy Kawasaki and if you ever hear any of his speeches you’ll understand why. In essence, it keeps the audience alert and they’ll learn more from you than someone who just educates.
Always believe a guy in a bow tie!

Always believe a guy in a bow tie!

  1. Talk to your audience, not at them – People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it. You need to interact with your audience and create a conversation. An easy way to do this is to ask them questions as well as letting them ask you questions.
  2. Be honest – A lot of people present to the audience what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. Make sure you tell the truth even if they don’t want to hear it because they will respect you for that and it will make you more human and authentic.
  3. Don’t over prepare – If you rehearse your presentation too much it will sound like it in a bad way.  Never tape your presentation because you will start to look rehearsed.   Granted, you need to be prepared enough to know what you are going to talk about but make sure your presentation flows naturally instead of sounding memorized. Usually if you ask experienced speakers what you shouldn’t do, they’ll tell you not to rehearse your presentation too much because then it won’t sound natural.
  4. Show some movement – You probably know that you need to show some movement when speaking, but naturally you may forget to do so. Make sure you show some gestures or pace around a bit (not too much) on the stage when speaking. Remember, no one likes watching a stiff. People are more engaged with an animated speaker.
  5. Watch what you say – You usually don’t notice when you say “uhm”, “ah”, or any other useless word frequently, but the audience does. It gets quite irritating; so much that some members of the audience will probably count how many times you say these useless words.  Learn how to eliminate weak language from your everyday use.
  6. Differentiate yourself – If you don’t do something unique compared to all the other presenters the audience has heard, they won’t remember you. You are branding yourself when you speak, so make sure you do something unique and memorable.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER…

27 Oct

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER videotape yourself  doing a presentation because it will kill your communication skills.  Shocked that a speech coach would give that advise?

Never Tape Yourself

Never be a copy!

Many of my clients ask – should I tape myself giving a presentation or do you ever tape clients giving a presentation? I think that taping yourself is one of the worst things you can do for your communication skills!  Why?  When you tape yourself you are creating a visual script for your presentation and we know that scripts can be deadly boring and lack emotion/passion.  When you watch yourself you automatically start scripting your body language and voice so that your final presentation is basically you working to remember what you did on tape.  That kills the spirit of the speech and is a major disservice to your audience.    There is nothing as refreshing as a presentation that has the flavor of an original.

Be original

Let me see you pose for employment….hmmmm

17 Oct

A study published last year, led by Amy J.C. Cuddy, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, required participants to strike power poses for several minutes before beginning a mock job interview. Those who did so got better reviews and were more likely to be hired—even though evaluators never saw them in the poses.

So break old body-language habits and start power posing! –

Show me your inner freak!!

15 Oct

Getting older has one silver lining – you can quickly discern and remove those fake people from your life.  To me it’s all about authenticity – truly being your chemical make-up.   So many people lose authenticity and become robotic copies of people they think are successful.  Morrissey has a song called “People are the same everywhere”  and he is desperate not to be part of a herd mentality.  The herd has no passion, no innovation, no richness, no depth.

If you are fake in communication –  face to face or to a group your listeners will flip the channel – there eyes will be hollow stares as they go into their own world.  You might as well be talking to your dog.  You must speak and brand you – no matter how strange you think you are inside.  To communicate you must release the freak.

Do one thing today to release your inner freak  and comment!!

falling down the escalator…….. this afternoon

21 Sep

Heading down the Charles Street Metro escalator this afternoon I noticed a guy with a cane,neck brace, lack of balance and blind.    He was heading down the escalator behind me and frankly I thought at the end he would fly forward toward the hard concrete.  I was not in the mood after being drenched in the rain to deal with this but we must always watch our own humanity.  So I waited at the bottom of the escalator to make sure he was sturdy on his feet and asked him if he was ok.  Then I started to walk off but he was still communicating to me.  Nothing verbal, no sounds – yet he was communicating that he was in a dangerous position.

If I just left him he would most likely head toward the next set of escalators and suffer a bad fall.   He wanted to use the metro to cross to the other side and escape the rain.  I could have told him that it’s dangerous but he was not the type of person to project reason.  So, I had to communicate a message to him without listening to his feedback.  I told him that without a guide this was far too dangerous and that he would be going with me back up the escalator.  This was classic one-way communication.

As we started up the escalator he decided to give me a commuication challenge via body language.   He leaned back and dared me to catch him – I was not totally successful but did manage to get him back on his feet with my arm tightly around his shoulder and told him with direct language don’t do that again.  As we got back to the top of the stairs and away from the metro I told him to go straight and use his cane to feel his steps.  I watched him briefly before I departed.

There are times when communication must be direct and democracy in decision making terminated.  When we see and can hear the screams for help and assistance we must communicate action and responsibility.  There isn’t time to discuss the merits of a decision – it is action that forges safety and progress.  In this situation I nullified this individuals own free- will and silenced his verbal debate for the greater good.    How can this type of communication be applied in your life?

At 6’9, Keith Scott is used to turning heads when he walks into a room.

11 Sep

BeansTalk from Beanstalk Apparel

  • Tall Tuesday: Keith Scott, founder of TALLspeaking

    At 6’9, Keith Scott is used to turning heads when he walks into a room. Keith has a strong presence in the Baltimore business community as the CEO and President of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Resource Center, and he is the founder of TALLspeaking, a personal coaching service that helps clients overcome their fear of public speaking and address personal anxieties to achieve success.

    Many people fear speaking in a large group or in front of a crowd. This fear often prevents great ideas or creative solutions from becoming reality because people shy away from presenting ideas or speaking up. Realizing that often the silent or quieter participants have great solutions and the prominent speakers gain attention, Keith wanted to help those ideas and solutions be heard.

    Inspired by his father’s tenacity, resourceful people around him and the desire to help others achieve personal success, Keith brought Tallspeaking to life in 2010. Keith works with clients to address personal barriers, overcome shyness, engage with a crowd, build a great first impression and gain the confidence to reach personal goals. He takes a positive approach to public speaking and feels that it is a thrill to have the honor to speak in front of people and communicate a message that can inspire.

    “Height has the advantage of gaining attention and declaring a brand that makes you feel, and look super confident” Keith says.

    Height advantage or not, conquering anxiety and gaining confidence in yourself will build your own natural presence. Everyone offers something great, and everyone has different obstacles to overcome.

    Being tall provides a natural presence, but Keith is no stranger to the qualms of the tall experience. Comments and stares are abundant, and trying to find clothing that fits can be a challenge but Keith’s positive attitude and calm nature makes him approachable and releatable. His communication expertise and natural confidence allow him to really get to know his clients and work with them to overcome barriers.

    Keith continues to build TALLspeaking with the goal of reaching an international audience.

    Words of wisdom from Keith: “Most things take less time than you think, it will be there tomorrow and after you’re dead”.

“Don’t fake it ’til you make it, fake it ’til you become it.”

6 Sep

Body Poses

Fake it till you become it

 

There has been a great deal of discussion in the media lately regarding power poses related to self-esteem and confidence.  As you know by now I am a firm believer that in communication we focus too much on the verbal aspect.  Body language is 65-75% of our daily communication.  You are always communicating even if no one is around.  Your body language is communicating to your brain your mood and temperament.

 

Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy has documented how positive and negative body language shapes your self-perception and your hormone levels.

In Cuddy’s experiment, done in collaboration with Dana Carney at Berkeley, one group spent two minutes doing low-power poses — head down, shoulders sunk, eyes averted, looking small. The other group did high-power poses – hands on hips, chest lifted, staring boldly out at the horizon a la Wonder Woman.

Then they took a saliva sample. The high-power posers showed a nearly 20 percent increase in testosterone (the dominance hormone) and a 25 percent decrease in cortisol (the stress hormone). The low-power posers saw a 10 percent decline in testosterone and a 17 percent increase in cortisol.

Cuddy says, “These two-minute changes (in body stance) lead to hormonal changes that can configure your brain to be either assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stress reactive and feeling shut down.”

In her moving backstory Cuddy (watch her TED talk) describes how as a young student her identity was wrapped up in “being smart.” But a serious car accident at 19 damaged her brain and her IQ dropped by two standard deviations.

Afterward, she struggled in school feeling like a powerless imposter until, on the verge of quitting, an angel advisor told her, “You are not quitting. You are going to fake it. You are going to do it and do it and do it, until you have this moment where you say I am really doing it.”

Cuddy faked it well enough to wind up teaching at Harvard, where years later she encountered a struggling student who confessed, “I feel like I don’t belong here.”

In that moment Cuddy realized she actually had forgotten about faking it, she belonged.

Her advice to the student: “Don’t fake it ’til you make it, fake it ’til you become it.”

“You know she is making me angry”!

3 Sep

"She is making me angry"!

“She is making me angry”!

“You know she is going to make me angry” ” I mean she doesn’t mean too but she is making me upset”  -overheard from a cell phone conversation this afternoon while walking to lunch.    Playing  that line in my mind “she is making me angry” over and over to discover it’s woven  with communication and public speaking.    Permission – yes that is what this woman was doing in her mind – she was giving her mind permission to be angry.     She has said “I can no longer hold up the walls while the flood of anger seeps”.

Do you let anxiety and fear from the eyes of the audience seep past your walls?  You are in control of your reactions and your responses to outside stimuli.   If you were in the middle of a desert  giving your presentation you would likely be comfortable and calm with your material.  Yet, when you are in a room full of eyes do you let them pierce your confidence and cause you to breath heavy, sweat, and stumble over words?  If so, you have let them win, you have let them enter your mind.   Do you want to learn how to fight back?

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