How am I supposed to get through my presentation when everyone keeps talking? Try as I might, I can’t wrangle my thoughts and remember what’s on my next slide with this CONSTANT chatter.
It feels like every third word, someone is interjecting:
It is too damn loud in here.
...Of course, by “in here,” I mean in my own head.
That’s right. Today we are talking about that chatty inner-critic.
We all have one. Some are chattier than others, but one thing all inner-critics have in common is this:
They are supremely unhelpful while you are presenting.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a...
"Oh God, I HATED Shakespeare in school."
This is the reaction I get from 90% of my public speaking clients when they learn that, before I was a public speaking coach, I taught Shakespeare performance at an Elementary/Middle School.
I didn't think much of it the first couple times a client said this.
After all, Shakespeare isn't everybody's cup of tea.
But after 5 or 6 clients said that exact phrase to me, I started to get curious...
Why was hating Shakespeare such a common experience among my public speaking clients?
Buckle up for week 3 of our on-going blog series:
You ready for tip #3?!
Okay! Here it is:
“Don’t be nervous!”
Wouldn't that be an incredibly unhelpful tip?
Let's talk for a second about why “don’t be nervous” such an unhelpful piece of direction to give someone.
Because it’s inactive.
In general, humans aren’t great at processing negative direction.
For example: Don’t think of an alligator.
Similarly, a doctor trying to improve a patient’s diet will probably have greater success with the prompt “Eat more vegetables” than “Eat less junk food.”
A lovely side-effect of eating more vegetables is that people naturally eat less junk food, but it’s much easier to get them there with an active prompt.
It's week 2 of our cheeky blog series:
and it's time to talk about our pre-speaking warm up!
I'll be doing a video series demoing some of my favorite physical and vocal warm-ups down the line, but today we gotta talk about an essential and too often skipped step of the process...
Who's ready for a pre-speaking mini-meditation?!
WAIT, WAIT, DON’T SKIP THIS PART!
I promise I’m not going to suggest a daily hour-long transcendental meditation practice.
(Although, if you’re into that, by all means go nuts!)
Look, I know that slowing down and focusing on your breath is probably the last thing you feel like doing when those pterodactyls are flapping around in your belly. (Some people talk about butterflies in the stomach, but I think pterodactyls are a more accurate description.)
But at this point, the scientific benefits of meditation when it comes to...
Welcome back to our on-going blog series:
Let’s start out our 1st week of Speak Masterfully Speaking Tips with a brazenly simple suggestion:
If you know you struggle with speaking to a crowd of people, then don’t speak to a crowd of people.
Speak to one person.
Imagine you have a good friend sitting in the back row—someone nonjudgemental. The kind of friend you’d have no problem inviting over even if your place were a mess. Make this a private conversation between the two of you.
Allow your eyes to take in the whole room, but keep the intention of a private conversation. Focus in on the one or two people smiling and nodding.
Not only will speaking to one person calm your nerves, it will create a feeling of intimacy with the audience.
Apply this advice to the writing of your piece as well as the delivery. To quote James Joyce, ...
Please...Don't picture the audience in their underwear.
I’m not sure where that advice initially came from, but I guarantee you there are more effective (and less creepy) ways to calm your public speaking nerves.
How do I know? I’m an actor.
Hi, I’m Sara Glancy, founder of Speak Masterfully. I received a BFA from NYU Tisch School for the Arts in Making a Fool of Myself in Public. (Okay, it was in Drama, but those are basically the same thing.)
And here’s something that might surprise you:
Even after 5 years touring and performing Off-Broadway, I STILL get nervous before stepping onstage.
Yep. Like clockwork, the curtain rises, the heart-rate quickens, and the butterflies flap.
In fact, most actors get pre-show jitters. You learn to get comfy with those nerves and let it fuel rather than derail your performance.
But here’s something that surprised ME:
The first time I stepped onstage as an...