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‘We can face the confidence with future’: A media lesson from Julia Gillard

Slips of the tongue happen all the time. They’re not a problem. What matters is how we handle them. When speaking in public (or televised from Parliament), the best way to handle them is to pause, smile, and correct yourself. A minor blip. The worst way to handle them is to ‘power on’ and pretend it More…

Release the anxiety for effortless public speaking

We can gain some insights from the work of F.M. Alexander. One hundred years ago Alexander developed a technique to use our bodies more effectively yet with less effort.   Forcing a style can damage your health Alexander was an actor, but when he performed in front of an audience he would rapidly become hoarse. More…

Get a method! Public speaking rules stop you thinking

There is a big focus on public speaking rules. The ‘Dos and Don’ts’ – a list of things you should always do to be successful. And a (typically long) list of thing you should never do. The core idea behind the Rules approach to public speaking is that by simply following the rules you will be a great More…

How to develop poise as a Speaker

Poise is a lovely word. It implies ‘calm’, ‘balance’ and ‘assuredness’ and it underpins powerful delivery skills. Most speakers don’t have poise because they don’t fully understand the (normal) anxiety that comes with public speaking. The ‘Stress Response’ to danger/uncertainty/fear actually causes us to shrink, tighten and contract our muscles. When you understand what’s happening to you – and when More…

Natural Style: Vital secret from ‘The King’s Speech’

King George in the movie ‘The King’s Speech‘ was naturally left-handed, yet forced to use his right hand at a young age. His speech therapist, Australian Lionel Logue, explains that this is quite common in stutterers. The implication; forcing people out of their natural style can interfere with efficient mind-body coordination. Particularly in relation to communication. We More…

Confused about public speaking nerves? (you’re not alone)

Confusion creates fertile ground for anxiety, so it’s important to understand how public speaking nerves work. You might recognise parts of this conversation with a successful and confident senior manager. It’s similar to 100 or so conversations I’ve had about public speaking anxiety. Note the words in bold… CAM: What do you do? SM: I manage More…

Useless advice and business presentations

Have you been given any useless advice about public speaking and presentations skills? Check out this discussion between ‘Mr Rules’ and Jennifer as she prepares for a big Presentation in the boardroom…   Feel free to comment.

Understand the Stress Response: Skate park vs public speaking

I like to rollerblade and thought the skate park would be fun. Here’s what I learned… Firstly, the straight ramps are very different to the curved ramps. After 15 minutes of sensibly building my confidence on the straight ramps I jumped down a curved ramp. About a minute later I woke up face down on More…

Finding poise: do you shrink under pressure?

In a previous article, I talked about a condition known as over-efforting, where we use far more energy than is required for a particular activity. This is quite common in public speaking, as people think they need to perform and exaggerate their voice, gestures and body language to have greater impact on the audience. And More…

Don’t try too hard. Less effort, better speaking results

Over-efforting is an interesting principle. Many of us have been taught the ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy but, in many situations, the more pressure we apply, the more resistance we experience. When sportspeople are tense, they wear their bodies out faster. Tennis champ Roger Federer is an example of using a minimum amount of effort More…