Face Your Fears: Ways to Conquer Stage Fright… Really!

October 14 is Face Your Fears Day.  Many people report public speaking as their number one fear–so why not use this upcoming “holiday” to push past that fear.

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Why?  Because nothing is as powerful as standing up in front of a room and using your words and body to convince others to see your way of thinking, to take the action you advocate, or ...

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Ways Great Speakers Capture Attention

In my mind, there are two kinds of attention: neck down, and neck up.

Neck-up attention is when the listener has to make an effort to pay attention. Neck-down attention is when the listener is riveted to the speaker: she can’t help but pay attention.

Please note that, in our language of English, attention is paid because attention is a valuable currency. When listeners pay attention, they are rewarding you with arguably the most valuable currency in the world.

Here are ...

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Fear and Loathing of Public Speaking

No one likes to be pulled from a warm bed and thrust into a cold shower.  And many people I’ve met feel the same about being plucked from the blanket of everyday life to stand alone on a stage with a thousand pairs of eyes on them.   And so, when they find themselves on stage, they naturally seek refuge.

They seek refuge in two ways.  They disappear emotionally by making themselves small, or they try to dominate by increasing their size.

Disappearing emotionally is ...

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Public Speaking Training: The Dreaded just-after-lunch Slot on the Program

Effective speaking has many enemies. A partial list would include a speaker’s lack of experience, stage fright, lack of training, no clear point, too much information, and finally, no clear flow, or structure.

We could go on. But the items on the list are only those enemies that hide within the speaker himself. What about the external enemies–the environmental obstacles, including those that hide within the audience?

Certainly one of the most stubborn opponents you can face as a speaker is ...

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Effective Presentation Skills: Hang ‘Em in the Bat Cave

“What do I do with my hands?” is one of the most frequent questions I get from people striving to improve their public speaking skills. The answer is more complicated than you’d think.

First of all, why is it important? It’s important because your hands speak quite loudly to the emotional radar of the audience. They can speak of your confidence and your delight in the topic, or of your anxiety and self-doubt.

A little anxiety is a good thing, ...

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Presentation Skills: Doing it in the road

I believe one of the best models for presenting skills is the act of giving directions to someone who has stopped her car, leaned out the window, and said, “How do I get to Bloomfield Avenue?”

If you’re standing in front of your house, and you know how to get to the desired location (your own version of Bloomfield Avenue) you immediately envision the route you would take. In the millisecond before you speak, your brain flies over the road map in your head, your eyes may very well look in ...

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