Imagine you could master a method that enables you to overcome the fear of public speaking even when delivering a presentation! Imagine a secret method that eliminated feelings of dread instantly.
What if you could eradicate feelings that constrict your throat? And change the inner critic to an inner support system shouting words of encouragement.
What would such a superpower presenting without fear enable? Would you climb the career ladder? Be known as the go-to authority? Be recognized and/or appreciated?
Being a confident compelling and concise communicator doesn’t just allow you to achieve true leadership potential it enables you to become the best version of yourself.
The truth is the potential offered to the best communicators in today’s world are infinite. Humankind has always rewarded the best speakers with positions of leadership, influence, and wealth. And today’s world has simply amplified the stakes. Being an effective fear-free communicator is no longer a nice to have but the number one aim of leaders and career professionals.
Before we reveal the truth about our proven approach that enables you to not just overcome speech anxiety but do so instantly (even during their presentations). It is important to understand the context to appreciate how and why our proven speech anxiety elimination method works and how to apply it.
What Causes Speech Anxiety?
There are many reasons why most of us will experience speech anxiety at some point in our careers. Whether it is the fear of being judged or having to present to a higher-status audience (a C-Suite/Board/Panel). The thought and consequence of being in any such audience understandably fills most of us with deep dread.
The ensuing distracted mind and associated physical symptoms of anxiety can seriously impede effective presentation delivery.
When unable to control such symptoms, we can be left feeling like we haven’t done ourselves or our message any justice. At worst we can feel the impact on our entire self-identity and well-being sometimes weeks or even months before we are due to speak.
How Speech Anxiety Shows Up
If you re-run a presentation experience in your mind, we can guarantee the feelings of anxiety peak in the first thirty seconds.
The shock to mind and body of seeing a wall of faces and eyes staring back at you whilst you speak is not easy for anyone! For many of the untrained presenters, the adrenaline response of fight-flight freeze starts to play out without tools to control this a downward spiral can quickly begin.
Most will start to speed up, unconsciously wanting to just get through the ordeal! Many will experience a quivering/shaky voice, and a racing heartbeat. butterflies sweaty and shaking hands are just some of the ways speech anxiety can show up.
The experience of speech anxiety is life debilitating and can undoubtedly leave an imprint on a personal identity level. Consequently, it can feel impossible to believe symptoms of speech anxiety are conquerable or reversible.
However, through our proven coaching approach we have learned that by learning to skilfully develop and then apply specialist methods there is a solution. Here we want to share how you too can learn to not just handle speech anxiety but enable a mindset and delivery skill set change that provides many of our clients with the breakthrough away from the fear and anxiety pattern to that of control and impact.
The Key Thing that Well-Trained Presenters Know
Professionally coached speakers and presenters understand to expect a shift in personal state and energy when on a stage. They expect to feel the raised heart rate, the tunnel vision, the desire to run off the stage, and everything associated!
But even more importantly they also have a toolkit of skills to help cope with the avalanche of emotions, thoughts, and bodily symptoms that accompany a presentation. Critically the best presenters understand how to turn these symptoms into what we term presenting advantage. In other words, make anxiety work for them.
Whilst the scope of this article is to describe one tool /method that will start to eliminate your fear – the reality is a combination of tailored tools that are well rehearsed and can be implemented instantly is the ultimate habit-based solution to speech anxiety.
How Experienced Professional Speakers respond to Speech Anxiety.
By knowing their anxiety responses, a professionally coached speaker can alter their anxiety into delivery impact by applying speaker tools that improve both delivery and alter their speaking mindset/state in real-time.
Applying tools that create a positive impact in real-time on both their audience and themselves when done skillfully transforms. Instead of entering a downward anxiety spiral, we enter a virtuous upward spiral of connection, impact, and confidence.
One such proven method from our confidence toolkit that has empowered hundreds of leaders and executives worldwide is to be found in voice and pace control.
Why Voice and Pace Control Works
We know that anxiety can show up in shallow and fast breaths. In presentation and speaking terms this results in a tendency to speak faster and faster. Creating greater levels of anxiety as speaking quickly results in fast shallow breathing reinforces the increased heart rate and associated anxiety symptoms.
The problem, therefore, points to the solution. Therefore, longer controlled exhalation of breath is the desired intervention to control both the heart rate, neurological hyperactivity (anxiety), and associated body response.
Controlled Breathing during Speech Delivery
The ultimate speaking aim for those learning our pace control method is to control breathing during their speech delivery whilst sounding more thoughtful and impactful.
Optimising your breath rhythm, especially during anxiety peaks will not only deepen your own and audience’s focus, but it will also physically reduce anxiety.
This is achieved through lowering the heart rate and provision of much-needed oxygen to the body and the brain. In other words, you learn to calm your body and mind live inside a presentation, thus enabling you to think on the spot whilst you speak.
Implementing Voice and Pace Control Effectively
Whilst at first glance slowing down may seem like an easy DIY fix, effective confident presenting requires this to be done in a way that adds presentation impact.
If we imagine someone simply taking a deep breath and speaking slowly, at best it may come across boring and even nervous. Conversely, a speaker who is able to manage their voice and breath elegantly can enhance their message impact.
Changing pace and voice in a way that builds a speaking rhythm and therefore vocal impact is the correct approach to make this a go-to speaking tool. Picture the great orator Obama, and you will see this very act being delivered almost effortlessly but with speaking and dramatic effect. So much so that his vocal control aids the listener to capture his message whilst he helps himself deliver confidently LIVE on stage!
This true skill is naturally more complex but when learned will build presentation confidence and greater presentation gravitas.
Part of the Voice Secret
We teach a range of proven tested methods on how to control the voice, and like any high-quality product it is multi-faceted. However, if you try this one technique now in the mirror, we can guarantee you will start to shift your level of breath control.
Pick a sentence – maybe a personal introduction and say it as you would normally and if you want to be advanced record it.
Now repeat but with the following action
- Stand with the left hand on your chest around your heart.
- Stand with the other hand on your belly, just above the belly button.
- Breathe in through the nose and focus on the belly moving/rising as you inhale.
- As you exhale, allow the hand on your belly to move in.
- And now add a key speaking step.
- Whilst exhaling add your personal intro sentence and try to control your breath through the pacing, emphasis, and enunciation of words.
Although it may feel extremely strange at first. When done alongside other methods we start to exert increased control on the voice and importantly breathing pattern. The diaphragmatic breath work ad above is a proven approach supported by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help calm anxiety in various situations.
When we learn to seamlessly fuse breath control with voice delivery, we create a powerful space for presentation impact.
Those with expert voices get greater presenting traction and authority. You are perceived as commanding and genuine, suddenly your presentation signature has been elevated. The additional benefit of professionally executed pace control stretches beyond just anxiety control.
What is the significance of these Methods?
The ability to alter one factor alone will move the needle of anxiety and impact. However, to achieve your true speaking potential you need to optimise a range of mindset, delivery set, and message structure tools, bespoke to you.
Our mission is to deeply assess your presentation approach, your audience requirements, and the bespoke skills roadmap required to get you to the best possible presentation space.
Fundamentally learning the right skills, and forming the right habits will not just alter how you feel or how you are perceived but ultimately shape your presenting identity and that is how many of our clients move from fear into focus and anxiety into impact.
To get started drop us a quick note and arrange a call back to understand how we can help you overcome the speaking barriers holding you back.