Category: Presentation Training

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Two Ways To Reduce Public Speaking Fear

How can you shift from being an anxious public speaker to a more confident one?

For most speakers, the best way to create a positive speaking mindset comes down to the three Ps: preparation, practice and presenting experience.

But there are other useful techniques and perspective shifts that can help you manage your public speaking anxiety, and this post will focus on two: managing the pernicious “imposter syndrome” and creating a positive counterbalance.

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How To Reduce Public Speaking Fear Part Two

The Public Speaking Mind-Body Connection

If you’re feeling joyous, there’s a good chance you’re smiling. If you’re feeling sad, you might be wearing a slight frown with downcast eyes and maybe even a few tears.

None of that is surprising. But what if the opposite was true? What if we were not feeling happy but forced ourselves to smile anyway? Could that facial adjustment—whether genuine or not—help transform our mood and “trick” our brains into thinking we’re happier than we really are?

Several fascinating studies say ‘yes.’ Here’s how to take advantage of that as a speaker.

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How To Reduce Public Speaking Fear Part One

An Introduction to Public Speaking Fear

If you’ve experienced public speaking anxiety, you’re far from alone. A 2001 Gallup poll found that 40 percent of Americans reported a fear of public speaking. But those numbers don’t tell the full story: most people’s public speaking anxiety is normal and, in many cases, helpful.

Given that anxiety is a common and frequently useful response, your goal shouldn’t be to eliminate your fear of public speaking. Reducing and managing anxiety are more realistic and productive goals that will help you feel more comfortable and prevent your body language from “leaking” distress signals to your audience that you didn’t intend to communicate.

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The Question That Completely Reset One Public Speaker

I recently worked with a speaker who was planning to deliver an upcoming speech from a script.

He delivered several practice rounds, each followed by video playback and specific feedback. Although he was improving around the edges, the talk was still coming across as too flat to accomplish his goals.

My feedback wasn’t having the desired effect. Fortunately, I had a sudden moment of inspiration, in the form of a question, which led to a breakthrough moment.

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Public Speaking, Lady Google, And Wrong Turns

Whenever we go on a family trip, we activate the Google Maps navigation feature, which announces to us, step by step, where we should go.

The voice-activated feature is a highlight of any trip for our four-year-old son, who looks forward to hearing each new instruction. He’s taken to calling the kind voice “Lady Google”—and it’s a nickname that’s stuck for our entire family.

I was recently driving to a presentation training in a new city when I made a wrong turn. As she does so brilliantly, Lady Google almost instantly re-routed my trip. And in doing so, she led me to a key public speaking tip.

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Brad Phillips ABACAB Video 2018

Public Speaking Lesson From Ed Sheeran, Genesis And Beethoven (VIDEO)

In my newest video, I discuss a public speaking lesson inspired by Ed Sheeran, Genesis (the band), and Beethoven. Yes, Sheeran’s hit song “The Shape of You” has something in common with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (and virtually every novel ever written).

Those musicians, composers, and novelists all knew something that presenters everywhere should remember.

This post is also an excuse for me to discuss an obscure 1980s pop song.

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Catchbox: A Great Way To Engage Your Audiences

Have you ever thrown a microphone at a member of your audience? (No, not in anger, but to encourage their participation?)

I’m guessing you haven’t. If the audience member drops the microphone, you’re out hundreds of dollars (not to mention the much more expensive lawsuit that could result from any microphone-related injuries).

An innovative product called Catchbox has solved that problem—and, in so doing, has given public speakers a great way to add some fun and unpredictability to their talks.

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The Must-Have Ingredient For Making Risky Material Work

A client came to us with an unusual idea for his upcoming keynote speech, which he was set to deliver to several thousand people.

He wanted to show the audience a four-minute music video in the middle of his talk. I was concerned that the clip was too long and would diminish the energy in the room, and suggested that he drop it. He politely refused. He was right. It worked beautifully.

Here’s the key ingredient that helped him pull it off—and that Jerry Seinfeld lacked before telling one popular joke.

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