Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In #publicspeaking confidence, does your body have a mind of its own?

When it comes to your confidence as a speaker, most of us think of it as a head game, a psychological challenge, something for which you need to "nerve up" or a challenge you can talk yourself into. Your approach to building confidence may feel like it's all in the mind, but from where I sit as a speaker coach, confidence is one of those speaking factors in which your body has a mind of its own.

I've had a lot of experience helping speakers nerve up right before they hit the stage in high-profile speaking situations like the TEDMED conference, where I'm always slightly amused to have talented physicians ask me backstage, "Denise, why is my mouth dry?" The symptoms I see when speakers lack confidence are mostly physical, byproducts of fight-or-flight syndrome. And research shows that, in many cases, what you need to do to reduce your stress and fear in a situation like public speaking involves your body as much as or more than your mind.

That's just one of the unusual approaches to building confidence that you'll get in my new half-day workshop, The Keys to Confident Public Speaking, coming up October 17. Here's what we'll cover:
  • How your body and your mind react to speaking fears, and how to check or reverse your mental and physical reactions, right on the spot. You'll learn advance tactics as well as last-minute fixes for your confidence. 
  • How your personality preferences influence your speaking fears, and how to work with them rather than against them. You'll learn what happens to your reactions under the stress of speaking, and how to make a course-correction so you're more comfortable. Your preferences also impact the way you prepare to speak, so we'll make sure you leave with the right preparation prescription for you. 
  • Practice for the tactics you're learning, so your body and your mind can remember them when you need them. Learn the speaker's secret weapons for building confidence and give them a test drive, right in the workshop. 
  • The core checklists from The Eloquent Woman blog, so you can anticipate and eliminate the major tripwires speakers experience in advance. Working with these checklists will help you go into any presentation or speech feeling calmer, more confident and more in control.
Does October seem a long way off? Keep in mind that you'll get a great early registration discount if you sign up by September 6. This workshop includes lunch, an email loaded with links and notes for you to use again and again, and all the checklists we'll be covering. I run lively and participatory workshops with plenty of time for your questions and for practice, so please do join me in October for this new session.