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Dislodging the Public Speaking Demon

Dislodging the Public Speaking Demon

by Guest contributor Richard Smith on August 9, 2013

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public” ~ George Jessel

 

It is a common fear. We all recognise the symptoms – sweaty palms, loss of appetite, restlessness, dry mouth, shortness of breath, a tight throat, nausea, dread…

Anxiety about public speaking impacts most of us at some point in our lives

To a large number of people it can become a barrier in their careers. The medical term is Glossophobia, and it’s a big one. Fear of public speaking routinely comes top in the list of the biggest phobias worldwide.

To those scheduled to speak, the discomfort emerges early

Thinking about standing in front of the audience raises anxiety, which becomes a demon on our backs.

A conscious effort not to think about public speaking can work for short spells, but this is an avoidance tactic and soon the demon reminds us of his presence, larger and fiercer than before.

What is the source of the phobia of public speaking?

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Guest contributor Richard Smith

Richard Smith is a leader in the environmental industry, consulting with the University of Hertfordshire. His role includes consulting, management training and executive coaching. He is a believer in development and learning, especially in relational settings. The day we stop learning is our last on Earth, until then we never know the limits of how much we can grow.

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Ten tips for hands free presentations

Ten tips for hands free presentations

by Moyra Mackie on May 17, 2013

I’ve lost count of the number of clients who come to me for presentation skills coaching who ask:

“What am I supposed to do with my hands? I feel so awkward.”

If you’re going to be a great presenter you need to stop worrying about what you do with your hands.  You’re not directing traffic or carrying out brain surgery.  You’re talking to people.

When you talk to people in the office, at home, in a bar, do you worry about your body language?  I’m guessing that for most of us, outside of a first date or important interview, the answer to that question will be “no”.

And why don’t we worry?

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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PowerPoint: crack cocaine for poor presenters?

PowerPoint: crack cocaine for poor presenters?

by Moyra Mackie on May 10, 2013

Have you ever sat through a presentation where the speaker whisks through forty slides in as many minutes? Where each slide is crammed full of text or endless bullet pointed lists?

It always amazes me that people who complain they have too much to do and not enough time to do it in, will waste hours sitting in on dull, unmemorable, or just plain confusing, presentations.

And amazingly, very few people complain.

Last week I wrote about  essential preparation for effective presentations.  I promised that this week I would talk about presentation delivery.

But I’ve changed my mind.

Presentations can be tough to deliver, but it’s important to accept that nerves are normal.  And nerves can let a presenter down. Let’s leave presentation delivery to another week.

There is no excuse for poor visual aids

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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