Archive: September, 2019

Post from Transformation Tom- Question if Fear is Really Fear- Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - September 30, 2019 - News
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Question if Fear is Fear

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[“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Question if Fear is Really Fear ]

Understanding the nature of fear is extremely helpful in getting past it. I am not a clinical expert who can diagnose fear’s exact root causes, but I can identify and relate with being outside my comfort zone. Anytime we are in a new situation, we may feel anxiety, fear, stress, discomfort, or whatever you want to call it. What are we afraid of? We may fear failure or embarrassment (will I be boring?). Do you fear this may lead to a poor performance? Is this driving you towards your own self-fulfilling prophecy? What if you turned fear around and recognized that it may actually be the rush of anticipation, energy, and excitement waiting to break out? Maybe deep down inside you can’t wait to be out there to have your moment with the audience. You may not feel this at first, but over time, you will understand that fear is similar to many positive feelings. When you are waiting in line for the big roller coaster, you get the same butterflies. It is an adrenaline rush that may be more about anticipation than actual fear of the ride. Could it be that your fear of public speaking induces those same feelings of excitement? Fear can be transformed—especially since it may not be fear at all. Maybe you’re simply feeling impatience and anticipation about sharing your message.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Practice Mental Preparation – Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - September 23, 2019 - News
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Can you visualize your own success? Do you believe—I mean truly believe—that the audience wants to hear your message? If there are people in the audience, than the answer to that question is yes. You must believe the audience is there for you. They want you to succeed or they wouldn’t be there. Dale Carnegie once said, “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” Have you ever seen world-class athletes close their eyes and run through their performance in their minds? As mentioned in the “Tame the Beast” section of this book, if you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you may remember camera shots of the skiers visualizing the course. You can see their head, body, and hands in the appropriate position as if they were actually on the slopes already. You can do the same thing with a speech.

My wise wife once told me to never ask a question you don’t want the answer to, such as, “Do you think that woman is pretty?” In one of my first district-level Toastmasters competitions, I must have been thinking of the early Olympics, where only amateurs competed. I overheard a couple of conversations and was surprised to hear that some of the competitors were professional speakers. I began to ask them about it while we were milling about before the big contest. I instantly convinced myself that I couldn’t compete at this level against these professional speakers. I was done before I started because I didn’t believe in my own success.

Additional mental preparation includes knowing who your audience is and who you are talking to. Are they a supportive Toastmasters audience where it is ingrained to applaud loudly? Have you done your due diligence to have a better idea of what you are walking into? Knowing who the audience is and what they may expect should help in your preparation, thus easing your fear and anxiety. The unknown is what often causes much of the angst. Reduce the unknown and you will build up your confidence level.

Finally, there is no right or wrong way to mentally prepare. As much as the many so-called experts opine about preferred styles and personalities, there are multiple ways to get our mental faculties ready for the big presentation. The fact that you are willing (although your mind may be saying otherwise) should tell you that you are well on your way. You may even find that once you pass the threshold of your peak fear, you actually enjoy your time in front of the audience.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom: Control and Prepare – Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - September 16, 2019 - News
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So, if the anxiety never fully goes away but can be controlled, how do we get there? Control comes with practice and preparation. Try to imagine me at my first state-level speech contest when I couldn’t remember the first line, but I could remember the second line. The couple seconds’ gaffe felt like it lasted a couple of hours. Then, imagine the moment when I had my shot to go to the World Championship Semi-finals, and I repeated a line two minutes into the presentation. In both cases, I actually gave two of the best speeches of my life, after the mistakes, because I knew I had lost the competition and just wanted to do the rest to prove to myself and the audience that I had a good reason to be there.

I had to change my preparation routine. I couldn’t just recite the lines in my car to myself any longer. I had to work on the presentation itself, including my gestures, my stage location, and my pauses. I needed to get out in front of more people. I attempted to contact every Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Lions Club within a thirty-mile radius. I put videos on YouTube and asked for advanced feedback from well-established speakers. I involved my family more; in fact, I have received some of the most critical and useful feedback from my eleven-year-old, thirteen-year-old, and fifteen-year-old children once I asked them to become an active part of the process.

What I found with better preparation and practice was how to be myself. Before, I’d been trying to become an actor, or act like one of my role models. My enhanced preparation techniques and routines taught me to be me. I also found the best way to mitigate the anxiety was to practice as if it was the real presentation every time. This better practice technique was making me more comfortable in my own skin. Personally, I needed to make the speaking process natural. Counter-intuitively, practicing more intensely actually did make me more relaxed and improved my ability to be who I wanted to be on stage.

The following represent key factors to consider within your preparation regimen: (many of which will be explained in detail later).

–        Write it out in full, or at least an outline to cover key thoughts

–        Either memorize the whole speech or cut down to note cards, but don’t wing it

–        When practicing, go through the entire presentation; even when you make mistakes, don’t stop

–        Choose your words carefully, taking into consideration the order, the rhythm, and the intended impact

–        Clearly mark the points to emphasize and/or repeat; write out your cues

–        Practice in front of a mirror, friends, family, and colleagues

–        Carefully add impactful physical aspects to the speech (e.g., facial expressions, gestures)

–        Increase your presentation practice time and stage time; commit to it and speak frequently

–        Get familiar with the setting

–        Control what you can control (e.g., lighting, temperature, amplification, table/chair set-up)

–        Be a student of yourself: videotape yourself, be open to feedback, play to your strengths, minimize self-caused distractions (e.g., paper shuffling, filler words)

–        Use familiar experiences: who knows you better than yourself? Talk about what you know; share your stories.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Recognize It May Never Go Away – Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-Speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - September 9, 2019 - News
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No. The anxiety never completely goes away for most speakers. Before you stop reading, understand that the anxious symptoms can simply become a re-focused energy source for you. We’ve all heard the so-called fact that people would rather die than speak publicly. I’ve known speakers who sweat, and we have all felt our own heart pounding at what feels like a million beats per second. It happens. The challenge is being able to control these reactions enough that they can actually help us to become better speakers. Much of my own anxiety was less fear and more buildup of energy bursting to come out. I have found that I can use this energy within my presentation to engage the audience and channel it into my stage presence.

The butterflies in my stomach may be fluttering, and my legs may be shaking, but I also know ahead of time that they’re coming. Can I redirect them to help me stride onto the stage with purpose, or integrate stronger physical aspects of my speech and thus use the energy to my advantage? Try to understand the most prevalent symptoms you typically get and diagnose what alternate actions you can take to strengthen your message and delivery. Knowing that the feeling may never completely go away can work to your advantage once you stop fighting it and start working to control it, and then use it to enhance your performance.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

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 - September 2, 2019 - News
0

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’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby