Archive: May, 2012

Post from Transformation Tom: Know Symptoms Are Coming – Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - May 17, 2012 - News
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Know Symptoms Are Coming

Teaching public speaking, I have scared a few people when I’ve asked, “Who is ready to give a two-minute presentation on [pick a topic]?” Instantly, the stomach sinks, the palms sweat, and the body tremors start. I myself have always battled a red face and blotchy skin; you can tack on tense shoulders and an instant upright stance for me, as well. I’ve had them all. What was harder than the experience was getting past the fact that the physical reaction was normal. When you are suddenly called on in a business meeting or invited to speak unexpectedly, you probably have a pretty good idea what will happen to you individually. No two people will react the same way, so know your own potential reaction so that you can mentally and physically prepare. I will provide more detailed information on mental and physical preparation in upcoming chapters, but the main point in this section is to understand the power of knowing what’s coming. Being conscious of it is half the battle. Your ability to anticipate what’s next will put you in a different state of mind, and, therefore, your reaction to what lies ahead will be more settled and stable.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the links to be re-directed:  Amazon.com

 

Post from Transformation Tom: Identify Why You’re Anxious – Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - May 4, 2012 - News
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Identify Why You’re Anxious

 Many of us tend to stay in our comfort zones. When we wander out of these comfort zones, we start to feel anxious. New situations always increase the stress meter. As previously noted, driving in an unfamiliar place without a map or GPS creates that same feeling that washes over us when we step up to a podium or have that big meeting with the boss. The feeling is natural. There are plenty of actors and athletes who get this same feeling before a big event. It is natural. Given an opportunity to present to senior executives at my company, I instantly fear failing in front of them. They trust and have faith that this presentation will be successful, and I never want to let them down. The mental head games we play with ourselves tell us that the risk of failure is there. However, we need to override this feeling by looking at the other side of the coin: that success is likely if we have controlled everything we could and have come prepared. The presentation won’t be perfect, so get over it—you can still make it a great performance if you invest the time and effort.

The punishing effects of the mental game can overtake you. What if I embarrass myself? What if the red blotches creep up my neck to my face and I am burning with heat? What if the fear of the fear is overtaking me? What if…what if…what if? A funny thing happened as I learned how to practice and prepare. The more stage time I got, the more confident I became. I had worried about the “blush” factor for too many years to remember, and now the only time I ever think about it is when I am teaching people about how I forgot about it. It truly is no longer a distracting “what if” thought. You too can control the mental game by increasing your time on stage.

You also don’t want to bore the audience. You won’t, as long as you put the necessary time and effort into the material, message, and delivery to ensure you keep the audience interested. Don’t just throw the presentation together and hope it works. You have to remember that most people in an audience want you to succeed, and when you succeed, they walk away thinking about you and your message. If your goal is to entertain, inspire, motivate, or persuade, and they are entertained, inspired, motivated, or persuaded, you have both won. Audiences want to think and be transformed into your world. Take the bold and confident approach. When you believe that you have the message to make a difference in someone’s life, that belief should turn into confidence that will resonate with any audience. Turn your words to action, and your action into positive energy. If you say, “I’m really glad to be here,” you should mean it. You set the tone.

Finally, a lack of public-speaking experience often drives anxiety. Nothing increases experience more than just doing more of it. So it’s time to set up a plan to increase your face time, presentation time, and public time to gain this experience. As you will learn later in the book, when you start to write and prepare for the audience and stop worrying about yourself, many of these anxious feelings will dissipate.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the links to be re-directed:  Amazon.com