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How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

by Alain Jean-Baptiste on December 15, 2017 Comments Off on How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

Are you terrified of public speaking? Read below to find out how to overcome and conquer your fear of public speaking to win over any audience.

More people are terrified of public speaking than natural disasters, aging, loneliness, violent attacks, or even death. The latest findings from that 74% of people suffer from fear of public speaking (Glossophobia).

74
74% of people suffer from fear of public speaking

The good news is that people have been studying and refining public speaking skills now for over 2,500 years. There are specific tools and methods you can implement to overcome your fear of public speaking and shine as a confident leader on the stage.

While the fear of public speaking is a top fear that many people experience, public speaking is one of the most important skills you can develop to achieve success. Good presenters connect with others to have an impact that influences the behavior and actions of their audience.

Basically, public speaking is one of the most powerful ways you can reach and inspire action in others yet to the average person, the idea of public speaking is worse than the idea of dying

The good news is that people have been studying and refining public speaking skills now for over 2,500 years. There are specific tools and methods you can implement to overcome your fear of public speaking and shine as a confident leader on the stage.

What is Fear?

For the most part, fear is an important and useful tool for survival.

We are all hard-wired with triggered fear responses to protect ourselves from danger. For example, if a tiger is hunting you down, your fear serves to help you act quickly to flee and find safety. In this imminent danger scenario, your mind and body’s built-in responses to

Even in the case of public speaking, a small dose of fear can help you stay on topic and sharpen your mind to deliver an amazing performance, so long as you know how to control your fear response using your conscious mind.

This is because when you experience fear, your mind and body gain the benefits of protective mechanisms to ensure your survival, much like the mother who lifts a car over her head to save her trapped child (known as hysterical strength).

The real downside of fear is when it escalates beyond your conscious control and starts to shape your thoughts, behavior and actions in limiting and self-destructive ways.

Fear of public speaking can become a major roadblock to success in your career. This fear limits your ability to persuade and influence others and your ability to stand apart from the competition. A fear of public speaking holds you back from being able to reach a greater number of people and build trust.

The greatest leaders throughout human history are great orators because they have this ability to reach massive numbers of people with a persuasive message that influences others and inspires action.

And let’s face it, since roughly a third of the population would rather be dead than give a presentation, it’s safe to say that developing your public speaking skills will help you stand apart from the crowd and achieve great things.

The secret to conquering your fear of public speaking is to understand the process of fear that occurs in your mind and body so you can limit the influence of the fear and harness the benefits.

How to Face Your Fear of Public Speaking

Fear is a protective response to danger.

Even though public speaking does not entail an imminent threat of danger, your mind has identified public speaking as a learned threat and that same auto-response of fear is triggered as though a tiger is charging at you.

When you experience fear, your unconscious mind triggers auto-responses to help protect you from danger. 

  • Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol that can cause one or more of the following biological responses:

    • Rapid heart rate
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Muscle tightening
    • Sharpened or redirected senses
    • Dilation of the pupils (to let in more light)
    • Increased sweating
    • Hysterical strength
    • Heightened perception of time (time slows down)

These biological symptoms are part of your unconscious built-in response to fear based on your perception of a threat. You cannot control your unconscious built-in response to fear, however, you can control your conscious response to fear.

When you experience fear, remember that your unconscious mind has picked up on the perception of danger and triggers reactions to protect you. Often, escalated levels of fear that hinder your desired functioning occur because your conscious mind becomes panicked by the biological symptoms of fear that you cannot control.

If your conscious mind is busy worrying about biological symptoms that are triggered by the feeling of fear, then your fear continues to grow and grow to become a hindrance that stops you from acting the way you want to – such as being a confident speaker that captivates the audience during your presentation. When you experience an escalated fear of public speaking, direct your conscious mind to acknowledge how the built-in response to fear operates and logically consider the danger involved in the situation you are facing to gain control of your fear.

Remember, the built-in biological responses that are triggered when you experience fear can be a good thing, these are a powerful protective mechanism for your survival. Fear only becomes a hindrance if your conscious mind panics.

The good news is that as you practice conscious acknowledgment of your fear and the biological symptoms of fear, you form a habit that enables you to retain more and more control in the face of fear in any situation.

Practice conscious control by following these 5 simple steps.

 

5 Steps to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Step 1: Understand that you are experiencing a built-in biological reaction to fear.

Remember that fear is a useful tool to help you survive. Your mind and body will get a danger alert to help you remain safe. Your conscious mind is still in control so long as you acknowledge the fear and how you will use it.

Step 2: Acknowledge that you are experiencing auto-triggered biological responses that are intended to give you protective benefits

It’s normal to feel pressure and increased stress when you experience fear. Do not panic when you start to feel these symptoms of increased sweating, rapid heart rate, tightening of muscles or otherwise. Remind yourself that this is part of the protective mechanism of fear that can help you stay focused throughout your presentation.

Step 3: Assess your fear level to judge whether you can cope with the fear or if the fear is too high. If the fear is too high, be sure to check out the video below for hands-on methods that will help you reduce this level of fear.

Take a few deep breaths and honestly assess how afraid you really are. Focus on going through the conscious process of assessing the stakes involved to address any disproportions to your perception of danger involved.

Step 4: Understand what is happening in your mind.

Fear is a reaction to your perception of danger. If you are feeling an escalated fear of public speaking, understand that your conscious mind has the power to overcome this through self-development, coaching and practice. The worst thing you can do is give into the fear because that reinforces an on-going cycle. Instead, face your fear with preparedness and start with small presentations.

Step 5: Practice public speaking in a safe place with a group of supportive friends.

Practice makes perfect! The best way to face and overcome an escalated fear of public speaking and to deliver a more confident performance is to practice in a “laboratory”. This gives you the opportunity to practice giving presentations and lowers the stakes so you can practice managing that fear in a less threatening environment.

Use the handy infographic below to walk yourself through these 5 steps whenever you are hit with that fear of public speaking.

How to Overcome Public Speaking Fear Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

Now that you are consciously aware of how fear works, what you control and what you do not control, it’s time to implement action steps.

Despite your fear and the biological effects of that fear on your mind and body, you do have the ability to deliver amazing public speaking – all it takes is a conscious effort.

For example, watch in the video below where I walked a woman with stage freight through conscious exercises overcome a lifelong fear of public speaking in just 11 minutes.

The key exercises to take away from this powerful example is how to consciously unpack the fear that you experience. Use your “thinking” mind (a.k.a. your conscious mind) to deconstruct your fear and bring it back down to a manageable and useful tool instead of an escalated hindrance.

Most importantly, remember your motivations for developing public speaking skills.

In the video above, “Leonore from Montreal” works as a nurse and has delivered presentations designed to help people be healthy – a noble and worthy reason for a presentation that most audiences would want to hear – however she didn’t acknowledge this when she would give presentations. Instead, when she would give presentations for work, she would just try to “get through”.

 

“Getting through” is only one small and initial component of getting over your fear of public speaking. The ultimate goal is to become a great speaker so you can truly connect with your audience and win the room. You do this by acknowledging that your audience wants to hear what you have to say because you’re offering useful and helpful information. Once Leonore understood that the audience did want to hear what she had to say, and that her presentations help people, she was able to manage her fear and be confident on the stage.

Fear makes you focus on how you feel, but great public speakers focus on how the audience feels.

 

Here are a 4 tips for a superior public speaking presentation:

  1. Practice: Don’t wing it when you are already coping with fear of public speaking because you won’t gain the benefit of heightened focus that accompanies your trigger response to fear. Instead, practice your presentation in front of others so you are well prepared.
  2. Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.
  3. Embrace the positive elements of fear: Use your conscious mind to maintain control of your fear so you gain the benefit of small doses of fear before a presentation – like heightened focus.
  4. Maintain good posture and regular breathing: Even though you cannot control your unconscious trigger response to fear, your conscious mind does have the power to regain control. If you focus on maintaining your breathing level and keeping your posture straight, your conscious mind will send signals to your unconscious mind that help to reduce feelings of fear AND make you more confident. Win-Win.

Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.

Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.

Embrace the positive elements of fear: Use your conscious mind to maintain control of your fear so you gain the benefit of small doses of fear before a presentation – like heightened focus.

Maintain good posture and regular breathing: Even though you cannot control your unconscious trigger response to fear, your conscious mind does have the power to regain control. If you focus on maintaining your breathing level and keeping your posture straight, your conscious mind will send signals to your unconscious mind that help to reduce feelings of fear AND make you more confident. Win-Win.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and space to practice becoming a great public speaker. Great public speaking skills are highly coveted as they are the hallmark of all great leaders and influencers.

Your public speaking skills will continue to develop and grow as you consciously face your fears and implement action steps to conquer those fears until one day, your fear of public speaking melts away and you find yourself perfectly confident and calm speaking to a crowd. And that is when the fun begins.

You can find out more about how to become a great public speaker here. (*this is to link to other blog in series)

In the meantime, review the steps to regain conscious control when you experience fear of public speaking and take action steps to prepare and practice giving presentations.

There are only about 25% of people who are brave enough to tackle public speaking so take heart, just by reading this and looking for solutions you are already ahead of the pack.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep at it and you will conquer your fear of public speaking.

Do you struggle with fear of public speaking?Tell us what you think of the steps in this article and any advice, comments or questions you have below to contribute to the discussion.

 

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Alain Jean-BaptisteHow to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

by on October 27, 2016 Comments Off on What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

Intuition: in a way, it’s like a super power. But unlike radioactive spider bites and magic hammers, this is one that is actually attainable to those willing to work to hone it. It can range from that prickle on the back of your neck that says “danger,” to that warm tingle that tells you you’re about to make the right decision. The ability to make split-second decisions based on your “gut feeling” can help guide you in everyday life, your career, tricky negotiations, and social situations alike.

Intuition is a hard thing for many people to peg down. Because it’s not very widely understood, many people make the mistake of believing that it is something that needs to be acquired, the way one would attend a class to acquire knowledge that they didn’t previously possess. This is a misconception, though that’s not to say that learning doesn’t come into the equation. The truth is that intuition is something that every person naturally possesses. To harness it, you must train your mind to listen to its own intuitive side.

Once you learn to listen to your intuition and use it to further your goals, you open up a whole world of possibilities. Problems that previously seemed not to have solutions are suddenly easily dealt with; options you never knew you had become obvious choices. How you perceive the world changes, and as a result you are empowered to change your life. But why take it from us? Let Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven Spielberg) explain it himself:

In case you missed it, the whisper that Spielberg is describing is his intuition, which guides his creative process. And considering that he’s the most successful director in history, with two “best director” Oscars to his name and a plethora of spellbinding films in his repertoire, it clearly hasn’t steered him wrong. If you’ve been hesitant about developing your intuition, consider this an example of the kind of success a person can realise if only they listen to the whisper of their heart.

In the following clip, Spielberg describes his intuition in greater detail (it begins at the five-minute mark):

“[For] the first 25 years of our lives, we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own… And at first, the internal voice I needed to listen to was hardly audible, and it was hardly noticeable — kind of like me in high school. But then I started paying more attention, and my intuition kicked in. And I want to be clear that your intuition is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction: Your conscience shouts, ‘here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers, ‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that. Because once I turned to my intuition, and I tuned into it, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away from.”

What he describes here—the way that your intuition tells you what you could do—is essential to harnessing the gift that you already have. All you need to do is learn how to listen to that voice, and you’ll find that, just like Spielberg, you’ll be drawn down more lucrative paths, while being able to recognize that other paths will be fruitless for you.

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What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –

by on September 30, 2016 Comments Off on September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –

Recently, I was faced with a challenge. Every month I strive to bring you a great new technique to enhance your daily lives, but this month I was stuck. Being September, my mind went to back-to-school topics such as organizational techniques and time management. But the truth is, I’ve done those before. What could I offer that would truly be helpful? That would have substance?

While I tried to puzzle this out, I was facing another challenge entirely. I have a lot of projects on the go—including my new book, Lead Intuitively, as well as plenty of travelling abroad—and I was slowly starting to lose my mind—or rather, my memory. Things were slipping my mind and I had to refocus myself on remembering important details. And then came a “eureka!” moment: that both of these challenges had the same solution.

The Technique of the Month

Superior Autobiographical Memory

Your memory is a powerful thing, not to be taken for granted. It is a fundamental tool vital in your daily life, whether personal or professional. And one of the latest marvels of the brain to be discovered is that some people can harness their memories in vivid detail, even years later. This skill is called Superior Autobiographical Memory. Below is a video interview with a woman who possesses this astounding ability; here are a few things to keep in mind as you watch.

Anatomy of Excellence

I thought that this month, I would begin to reveal to you some of my Jedi mind tricks—starting with how to slow down time. One question I’m often asked is, “How are you able to read people so quickly?” Well, it’s easier than it looks. I’ll teach you how to dissect, analyze, evaluate, and read people on a deep level without the use of intuitive abilities.

Take a Deep Breath and Relax Your Mind

Many years ago, a friend of mine—an experienced military sniper—taught me that the first step to slowing down time is to control your breathing. Don’t worry! This technique has nothing to do with shooting a gun. Being a sniper means so much more than that—it’s about being able to read a situation, understand body language, and make split second judgements based on your observations. These skills are just as vital in business and in life, and the key to mastering them is controlling your perception of how time passes. By controlling your breathing, calming your mind, and focusing on behavioural patterns and non-verbal cues, you can read between the lines in an instant.

Before watching the below video, take as much time as you need to relax your mind. See what you can read from the interview about how these remarkable people are able to perfectly recall events that happened decades before. I’ve included a few of my own notes below for you to compare against your own findings.

My notes:

  • Syntax (1:10) “I can feel it,” i.e. she is manifesting memories that feel as real as when they happened.
  • Eye movement (1:12) After saying “I can feel it,” her eye goes down to the right—a gesture associated with recalling memories.
  • Mannerism and eye movement (1:44) Look at her pupils and see how stares into thin air, coming into focus on the specific date that she’s been provided as though she can see it in front of her.
  • Sequence (1:45- 2:00) Look at her hand gestures as she describes the sequence she uses to organize the dates and events in her mind.
  • “I just see it, it’s just there” (4:29) Although the doctor being interviewed calls this an unsatisfactory response, it’s very telling if you read between the lines. It is as though they can simply travel back to a previous point in time and observe it—similar to the Future Self technique which I teach.
  • Eye movement (5:10) Eyes to the right, toggling between looking upwards and looking directly right, indicating visual and auditory memories being recalled.

Another Prodigy

If you’d like to learn more about how to read people’s non-verbal behaviour to decode and replicate success, check out our online course on Persuasion and Influence.

 

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September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –

Situational Awareness – July 2016 Technique Of The Month

by on July 28, 2016 Comments Off on Situational Awareness – July 2016 Technique Of The Month

Technique of the Month

—Situational Awareness—

Have you ever seen the film The Bourne Identity? For the unfamiliar, Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne, an amnesiac who slowly discovers that he is, in fact, a highly-trained CIA operative. If you’re wondering what this has to do with the technique of the month, just watch the clip below:

The skill that Bourne demonstrates in the diner—having intuitively analysed his surroundings and drawn conclusions based on that analysis—is called situational awareness. It has roots in military strategy and theory, where it often means the difference between life and death. But you don’t need to have military (or CIA) training to develop this skill, and it can be useful in everyday situations—especially in the world of business!

Testing Your Situational Awareness Take a look at the video below. Even if you think you know what to expect, watch it until the end—you may be surprised.

So, did you spot the gorilla? The transforming curtain? The departing player? This video demonstrates two important ideas in situational awareness: that focusing too narrowly on one detail can lead to making mistakes, and that you should never jump to conclusions without as much information as you can gather.

 

Situational Awareness in Business Situational awareness is vital to your success because it enables you to increase your consciousness and awareness of your environment, allowing you to hone your seventh sense: the sense of balance, which connects your inner world to the world around you. For leaders, situational awareness is the key to influencing and persuading people to get on board with you. Whether making a sales pitch, forging a new partnership, or negotiating a contract, the ability to read and judge what is going on in the room, and to act on the information that you’re receiving, will always work to your advantage.

Developing Your Situational Awareness

Though it’s a skill that almost anyone can master, developing functional situational awareness is not something you can do in a weekend. If you want to be the Jason Bourne of the boardroom, it’ll take practice, dedication, and learning to trust your intuition or “gut instinct.”

The first step is knowing what to look for and what to ignore. In any environment, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of details screaming for your attention; your job is to tune out the information that doesn’t enhance your understanding of the environment and the people in it, and to focus on what does while remaining open to new information.

The next step is learning to establish a baseline; i.e. what is considered “normal” in a given situation. By understanding what is normal, you can free up your mind to look for details which deviate from expectation. Is the person you are meeting with unusually anxious? Does your prospective buyer keep checking their watch or phone? Learning how to spot and, more importantly, interpret and act on these signals will give you an edge in meetings, since you can adjust your own strategy to the situation at every turn.

Beginning Your Journey to Situational Awareness

You won’t become a master of situational awareness unless you start training yourself. The good news is you can train and practice anytime, anywhere—from your morning coffee run to the breakroom and even gatherings of friends and family, opportunities abound to hone your mindfulness, intuition, and sense of balance. The more you learn to observe, interpret, and act on what you see, the better your situational awareness will become!

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Situational Awareness – July 2016 Technique Of The Month

Ladies, Let’s Start Acting

by on June 11, 2016 Comments Off on Ladies, Let’s Start Acting

 

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Hello, ladies.

I know you’re busy, so I won’t waste your time or fill up your head with nonsense you don’t need. But if you have a moment today, I’d really like you to read this, because these are important facts.

We really need to stop talking about them. We need to start acting.

Statistics show us that, on average, men are better paid, but women are better educated.

Men dominate the top jobs, at least in business, while women do most of the unpaid work and care at home.

Working women, despite having paid jobs, also bear the brunt of the housework. They devote an average of 28 hours a week to washing, cooking, lunches, carpools, solving family problems and decision-making.

Women are also the primary carers of elderly parents, with 92% cared for by daughters and 8% by sons.

Based on these numbers, you could easily assume that being a woman means doing it all.

It also means being overloaded and undervalued.

You could also assume that the feminist movement long lost momentum in a dialogue that goes something like this: While women do have an undeniable biological need to nurture, many of us tend to exclude ourselves when it comes to the list of things we actively make time to care for. As a result, our health, wellbeing and happiness can suffer.

And you know what else? This is a perpetuating story.

This is information that we hear day after day.

It rarely changes. It’s a soundtrack that keeps us believing that all of this is real.

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However, as long as we see these facts as real, we believe in these facts and we keep paying attention to these facts, guess what? We will keep unconsciously behaving in a way that sustains the story. We will keep getting these second-rate results for ourselves over and over and over again.

You know why? Because we interpret the world around us through our neurology.

But, through neurology, we can also make important changes.

We each have our own reality – the way that we look at the world around us. We each have the power to change this reality by changing the way we look at the world around us.

Each individual is responsible for his/her own experience.

Therefore, for us to create a movement and a powerful change, we women (as a collective) need to see, believe and perceive a different story.

We need to let go of our limiting beliefs and old stories.

The statistics relating to the gender gap haven’t really changed in the 50 years since we began having open discussions about equality.

I believe that the reason we haven’t made much progress is because we are not giving ourselves permission to feel truly individually empowered. If we want change, then we need to instigate change. We need to look at the situation differently and shift our mindsets.

Quite simply: If we stop believing the rhetoric, if we stop believing that we’re the “second sex” and start believing that we’re equal, then we will have made an important step in the journey towards change.

Ladies, it is time for us to rewrite the story… To start nurturing ourselves, to begin acknowledging our individual contributions to this life, honouring our own unique and special set of talents that no one else can possibly emulate.

We need to start loving ourselves and backing ourselves… and backing each other.

The moment we begin to value ourselves more, the world around us will have no choice but to follow suit. 

By altering what we are willing to accept as true, we can create change. The world around us can only treat us as the “second sex” if we let it.

What we put out, we get back. And what we perceive, we believe.

It really is as uncomplicated as this. The catch is the commitment. To create real, lasting and transformational change we need commitment. This is where we must not falter.

We will only succeed if we start today, continue tomorrow and keep going into next week and beyond, telling ourselves and each other and the world around us the new story, until it becomes the real story in our minds and in the minds of those around us.

The post Ladies, Let’s Start Acting appeared first on FinerMinds.

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Ladies, Let’s Start Acting