Frequently Asked Questions
Let's Begin By Redefining, "Public Speaking"
Goddess of Public Speaking coaches nervous speakers to relax and find their own voice.
I often think we need to change the term, public speaking, because it carries so much baggage. It needs a PR makeover. So I’m going to start by refining this dastedly term that strikes terror into so many hearts.
Every time you have a conversation with anyone other than yourself, you are already, “public speaking.” It’s not reserved for “formal” occasions – most people do it every day without thinking about it. It occurs at the dinner table, on the telephone and yes, in front of 5,000 people. If you change your internal definition of “public speaking” to “it’s just a series of one-on-one conversations”, your beliefs, behaviours and even fears about “public speaking” will also change and likely for the better.
Public Speaking Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Fear and anxiety manifest as physiological responses within the body. I help clients identify their habitual unconscious responses and change them using physiological awareness and practise. In a systematic and gentle way, clients change their behaviour to learn how to communicate with natural ease and authenticity. For many, it’s a paradigm shift that takes them by surprise. I teach most clients the Inner Calm Exercise to help manage speaking nerves and clear the mind. If a client is experiencing social anxiety phobia or extreme fear, I refer them to a qualified therapist. Take a closer look at what we can cover in our 1:1 Coaching Programs.
Good question. The main reason clients choose to work with me is to overcome / handle / transform stage fright and public speaking nerves. Usually these clients have tried many other programs and may have been struggling with it or skillfully covering it up for years. Most clients are far more capable than they give themselves credit for and their fear gets the better of them, colouring their experience and beliefs about themselves. I find that inviting clients to have a new experience of “speaking” opens their eyes to new possibilities. Rather than focus on “getting rid” of fear (which can make it stronger) my clients focus on their strengths and expand from that place. Confidence grows when they realise that change is possible and close by.
Yes! All clients regardless of gender need to be prepared to do some inner work to get the outer work benefits – that’s what makes a great communicator – it comes from within.
Yes; client confidentiality is respected at all times. Some clients do not wish others to know they are struggling with public speaking. Embarrassment, sensitive commercial in confidence or, a public profile are cited as reasons for privacy. Clients concerned with these issues, often travel some distance to work with me or work online to overcome speaking nerves, improve presentation skills or searching for meaning and purpose. And just to keep a balanced perspective, many clients are not in the least concerned about working with a public speaking coach.
Yes, I can help you craft and deliver a short pitch. Authenticity is the key to building trust and relationships and that must come from you. I’ll help you define your purpose, context and audience and then provide you with exercises to draw out information. Together, we craft a message that “hits the spot” without hard sell.
Goddess of Public Speaking has been operating as a specialised coaching and training business since 2002. I’m different to most public speaking coaches in that I am also a professionally trained life coach and trainer, not just a public speaker and I’m a Meditation Teacher (very handy for very nervous speakers.) You can find out more in my About Page.
Yes! I show clients how to read a speech AND remain connected with their audience. It can be a compelling and intimate experience rather than a one-way download or a memorised robotic performance. Although I generally advocate NOT reading your entire speech, there are times when it’s necessary – even if it’s just ensuring you share a quote or facts and figures accurately. There’s no reason why you can’t dip in and out of your notes is there? Every one speaks differently and that is a very good thing.
Confidence is a transferable skill and a rather old-fashioned one in that it does take time to build. Imagine if you could buy it online, “Buy Now! 2 For One Confidence Packs!” Confidence in public speaking requires rebuilding self belief and new positive experiences. Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to give a major speech every week! Depending on where you are in your life, the 1:1 coaching programs will show you how to reconnect deeply with your inner core of wisdom and confidence. It’s there… you just have to know how to find it again.
Yes and your question is a very common one. Occasionally I do have clients whoose fears operate in reverse – they like being in groups but loathe the intimacy of one-on-one. I love helping clients design workshops and develop the art of presentation, working skillfully with people and managing all the variables. Working with groups and audiences is kind of like dancing while you juggle – there are many balls in the air and they need to be constantly moving in relation to one another. Learning to become present and sensitive interpersonal communication skills are a major part of being at ease and fabulously facilitating workshops and audiences.
Big surpise perhaps – but no, it’s not necessary to be giving professional speeches whilst working with me. Although if you do have presentations coming up or you can create the opportunity, all the better because then we have something real and imminent on which to focus – nothing like reality coming up fast to galvanise you into action! Some clients have no intention of ever giving a “professional speech”. They simply wish to get over their fear and communicate with ease and authenticity in all situations. So if you don’t have imminent speeches coming up – I have a myriad of fun and surprising exerises (which don’t look anything like “public speaking”) which will help you learn just as effectively.
Yes I can help you learn to speak professionally and give you some insight into the industry. It’s best to start with an assessment of your current skill level and identify gaps and strengths and take some private coaching sessions. You next need to be able to clearly articulate your central purpose, message and needs of your audience.
All new clients begin with one x 75 minute session. This either resolves your communication issue(s) or reveals if more guidance is needed. It also helps you decide if I am the best person to help you get there.
The 4 case studies below are amalgams of genuine clients and their stories. I use them to help explain who undertakes coaching with me and their outcomes.
Case Study 1: Meg, Manager
Meg, a regular but reluctant speaker, needed help with her confidence to MC a large event in front of her peers. She was surprised to find one session was enough. Her event was a success and her confidence massively increased. The door is open for more sessions should she need.
Case Study 2: Julia, Small Business Owner
Julia graded herself a 2/10 in speaking confidence – very nervous – when it came to speaking in front of groups. All those eyes! All those judgements! After the first session soothed her worries about finally dealing with this long term fear, she decided to undertake at least six additional weekly sessions. Julia learned how to shift her fear reaction to a relaxation response and hold her ground without fading away. She practised on her small team at work without falling apart. She found herself more willing to attend personal and professional events… which was better for her business and social life.
Case Study 3, Lee, Psychotherapist
Lee wanted to reduce her labour intensive one-on-one case load and reach more people by running workshops and speaking at events. She decided to invest in creating a speaking toolbox for herself, (a low cost form of marketing) and learn how to genuinely connect with large groups and overcome her fear in doing so. Plus achieve her goal of generating more money for less hours. After the first session, Lee decided she needed to go back to basics. She purchased the block of 3 sessions and booked in for fortnightly sessions. She discovered that her everyday interactions and moments became about quality not quantity. Lee loved the unexpected personal development growth and kept purchasing sessions in blocks of 3. She began by identifying what made her different and unique, developed compelling self introductions, a Speaker Biography that did not make cringe, two short presentations and the outline for a series of 3 workshops. She also learned to face her fear about difficult audiences and how to inspire more people to take up her recommendations. After 6 months of fortnightly coaching, Lee books in once a year to trouble shoot and use Geraldine as a sounding board for new presentations.
Case Study 4: Kynan, Coach, Author, Trainer
Kynan had many years of experience and feared mediocrity had crept into his style. He needed a boost and deep reconnection to his purpose, message and presence. Kynan pops back to work with Geraldine on a regular basis to stay on track, stay fresh and not get caught being a legend in his own mind.
I think very few people are born knowing their life purpose is, “saving an endangered species” or, becoming a brain surgeon. The rest of us collect life experiences which shape who we are and what we stand for. Discovering your purpose and message can take time to unfold. After working with many clients, I have found that the “shortcut” as it were, is to learn how to access your core and get out of your own way. By creating space and fresh perspectives, meaning and purpose reveal themselves. My private 1:1 coaching programs are designed to help you do this.
Everyone is unique and expresses themselves differently, so all speaking styles and voices are welcomed.
I’ve found the 4 values below are useful foundations:
- Individuation: growth toward wholeness, personal character, self-knowledge, emotional intelligence.
- Authenticity: True to one’s self, genuine, real, trustworthy, credible, instinctual, natural, powerful, present.
- Wabi Sabi: from the Japanese – “beauty is in the imperfection”, embracing flaws, acceptance of self and others.
- Quality: Knowing what is important to you, less is more, slowing down, decluttering, honing, simplicity.