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…

Focus on the gaps, not just your words

I recently attended a conference where two of the speakers raced through their talk without pausing. It was so exhausting. And their ideas seemed less important with the speaker racing through them. We all crave a START and/or an END: The human mind responds instinctively to the start or the end of anything so when More…

$100 million habit: Janine Allis keeps it simple and solves problems

I’m a fan of Janine Allis. A recent article in The Age outlines her story and secret to success with Boost Juice (250 stores, $130 million turnover). In a nutshell: ”What I’m good at is solving problems and keeping things simple.” One of the great things about Janine’s story is that her formal qualifications from Knox Tech (which she 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.

The lost art of the Speech Outline

When preparing for important communication, most people miss the crucial step – the speech outline. They start thinking about what their speech, document or PowerPoint slides should look like and try to sort their thoughts from there. But the most valuable thing you can do to prepare is create an outline. A speech outline… A More…

A wicked message: how to make sure your message gets results (part 2)

In the last post, we defined the difference between a wicked message (which requires more mental effort on the part of the listener) and a tame message (which is clear and easy to follow). To get a response, you need a tame message. So here’s how to do it. How do you make your message More…