Tag Archives: women and business

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.

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! –

“May I ask who is calling”? “Can I have dressing on the side”?

26 Sep

“May I ask who is calling”  – I hear this all the time on the other end of the phone line or while waiting in reception areas?   This is weak, meek and confusing language for the listener because who ever says no.  So it’s couched as a question but truly it is a demand.  Plus, why would you ask “may” of course you can say “who is calling” and there is truly no need to ask permission.

Its similar to when you hear people order  at a restaurant and they say “can I have a salad with dressing on the side”?  It’s not rocket science or a mathematical equation to just pour dressing into a small cup.   In addition of course you can have your food any way you want included burnt to a crisp – you are the one paying for the service.  We need to eliminate this weak/meek language from our everyday conversations so we sound strong and confident.

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”.

“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?

They told me their stories……homeless/prostitute

26 Aug

Waiting for the Purple line – she walks up “I just got our of jail”  I ask for how long – she said “just for a night and damn I need a shower”  I ask what got her in trouble in the first place – drugs and prostitution.    There is not hesitation in telling me about her life – not a bit of fear or concern.

Riding the light rail home I sit across from a woman with a McDonald’s shirt, she is signing and vocalizing how tired she is already at 3 pm in the afternoon.  I ask if she is just getting off work and she sighs ” I am just heading to work in Timonium”  I asked where she was coming from and she said “the women’s shelter in White Marsh”  I found out that she has to take a bus from White Marsh to downtown (Convention Center) and then take the light rail north.  She told me how she had been homeless for around 6 months after getting kicked out of her aunts house because she was addicted to pain killers.  She has 3 children from 3 different dads but can’t collect child support for various reasons.  She dreams of getting a car by December but first she has to get past a suspension.

In both of these cases these individuals felt totally comfortable telling me their story no matter how painful.   I have been wrestling with why they are so open about their condition to tell a complete stranger.  There are several reasons, maybe I look like a good listener?   It could be because I continued to ask them questions?  I think the answer is simpler – they had no fear or reservation because they had nothing to lose, they have been judged all their lives for their actions and truly don’t care what others think.  They have moved into a mental place of freedom from judgement and that is why there voice is strong in explaining their lives.

What can be learned from these interactions – our voice can rise above judgement and fear when we feel the freedom that there is nothing to lose but only to gain.  We can all find that voice without living a life of pain and misery – it is in each on of us and we must power through to find it and use it!

I am a proud Introvert and a Public Speaker?

19 Aug

Introverts can be public speakers!

Introverts can be public speakers!

Do you freak out when your cell phone is down to 10 percent and you can’t find a plug to charge anywhere?  You may debate – should I turn it off to save the battery or just hope you get to a place to charge in time?  For me by Friday afternoon my battery is red-lining.  I am desperate for some solitude – to get away from conversation and interaction.  I need that time to put all my thoughts in order and to make sense of the world.

People think that only extroverts can be good public speakers because they gain their energy from people.  They think that introverts can’t stand people and only want to live on a remote island.  That type of talk is rubbish and completely ignorant and irresponsible.   Anyone can be an amazing speaker but they have to know their temperament and limitations with stimulation.  I have learned that I must have some time before a presentation (10-15) minutes to put my thoughts in order and find that inner solitude.  So, my introverted friends – don’t let an emotional condition hold you back from communicating with the world?

Introvert 2

Begin with a Flavor Scene – hmmmmm?

12 Aug

Many of the clients I coach ask me “I just don’t know how to start my talk”?  We have been trained to start with our name and what organization or position we hold in a company.  THAT IS BORING!  You have 5 seconds to capture your audience’s attention and you think saying your name and company will grab them!  Imagine if every movie started with “Today you will be watching”  You must start by grabbing attention.

Begin with a Flavor Scene

Good movies  open with what is called a “flavor scene,” grabbing attention and positioning the audience for what is to come. I relate the first three pages of a movie script to the first thirty seconds of your speech.

Mike Powell, when he was a senior scientist at Genentech, grabbed the interest of a Continental Breakfast Club audience by beginning: “Being a scientist is like doing a jigsaw puzzle, in a snow storm…at night…when you don’t have all the pieces…or the picture you are trying to create.” Everyone sat up and paid attention, they realized that they could understand and relate to the challenges and frustration of a scientist. That immediately proved it would not be a technical presentation.

Your flavor scene doesn’t necessarily have to lead where the audience expects it to, but it should make an impact, and it must tie in to what follows

“Anthony Weiner – please don’t use a script”

24 Jul

If you are going to apologize about something such as sex texting – don’t do it from a script and then stumble on the words as if you didn’t write it.  You have the opportunity to to show compassion, empathy, and emotion to a captive audience.  So what do you do, you hold in front of the cameras a folded over piece of paper and read emotionless a statement.

If you are caught in a situation like Anthony Weiner here are some tips:

1.  A script says – I am not sure I am really sorry and I am not sure I have real feelings.

2.  Looking at the script while reading – I am still not sure I can face the reporters because I have not come to terms with what I did.

3.   Using Um’s and Ah’s says I am not comfortable with what I am saying – so I need to buy time.  This shows a complete lack of empathy.

4.  Tell why you did the act – people are ready to forgive if you are just honest – Anthony, why did you need to sex text?

5.  Show the people why this won’t effect your job if you get elected as Mayor.

6.  When your wife Puma starts talking – don’t fold your arms – it shows that you are defensive and nervous about what she is going to say or reveil – you must be on the same page.

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