From the Thai: Being aware of other people’s feelings with the reluctance to impose upon them.
Goddess Of Public Speaking Respects Your Privacy
“If you’re anything like us, you have been inundated with lots of emails relating to the new requirements of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (better known as the “GDPR”).
At Goddess of Public Speaking we too are committed to being as transparent as possible with our customers, website users and newsletter subscribers about the data we collect, what it is used for and with whom it is shared and we are now GDPR Compliant.
- your privacy rights and how to exercise them;
- how we collect, use, share and protect your personal data, and
- the legal bases we rely on to process your personal data.
You can view our updated Privacy Statement here (effective 25th May 2018).”
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, you can contact us by email at admin@goddessofpublicspeaking.
Chief Voice, Goddess Of Public Speaking
Imagine You Have The Voice You Want
Visualisation or Guided Meditation, is like taking a holiday in your own mind. It’s a delightful tool for your subconscious to imagine something you would like for yourself… if only you knew how. Visualisations allow you to drop the HOW and leap, often surprisingly, into the WHAT. Once the mind imagines something, it’s much easier for the body to follow and make it real.
I often suggest to my clients with throat or voice issues, they adopt the Visualisation below, tweak it to suit themselves, record it in their own voice and listen to it every day. Great results.
Voice And Throat Healing Visualisation
Gently close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breath and watch it move effortlessly in and out of your body. Be aware of it moving in and out of your nose… in and out of your throat… in and out of your chest… in and out effortlessly your whole body.
With every breath in and out, allow your muscles to relax more and more deeply.
Bring your attention to your shoulders. As you breathe in, tighten them and raise them to your ears. As you breathe out, release and relax your shoulders.
Do that again… Explore how your shoulders feel when they are relaxed, soft and open.
Now bring your attention to your mouth. As you breathe in, tighten your lips hard and feel the tension extend all the way to your jaw. As you breathe out, release and relax your mouth and jaw.
Do that again… Explore how your mouth and jaw feel when they are relaxed, soft and open.
Now bring your attention to your throat. As you breathe in, tighten your neck muscles and notice how your throat, neck and face all tighten together. As you breathe out, release and relax your throat, chest, shoulders, neck and whole face.
Do that again… Explore how your throat, neck and face feel when your throat is relaxed, soft and open.
Now it’s time to focus your attention more closely on your throat. Imagine the light of a full moon is shining like a soft spotlight on your throat. It sends a subtle and steady blue warmth throughout your whole throat. Feel that gentle warmth now. Imagine it expanding and filling your throat with a deep internal healing. Perhaps there is a soft hum. With every breath in and out, feel or see the blue light clean, calm and heal every cell that needs to be clean, calm and healed.
Take your time and relax deeply in the soft blue glow of moonlight that fills, surrounds and supports your whole body… listen to the hum… when you are ready, make the sound of soft humming. Feel it vibrate through your whole throat, whole face, whole chest, whole body.
Again, when you are ready, you may like to repeat to yourself a strong positive statement of what you want for your throat and voice. For instance… “My throat is soft, my voice is strong”, “I speak clearly, confidently, easily”, or “My voice flows easily from my throat”.
Now I’d like you bring your attention to the sensation of your feet on the floor. Give your toes a wiggle. Give your fingers a wiggle. Give your shoulders a gentle shrug. Take a grounding breath in and out. Become aware of the room around you. Consciously choose to keep your shoulders, lips, jaw, face, throat and voice, relaxed, open and soft. Let your mind be alert and calm.
When you are ready, gently open your eyes.
Book Review by Speaking Coach Geraldine Barkworth
This is a good book to help you grow onward and upward after cultivating a strong stable base. Think beautiful flower, contributing to eco system around it, rather than becoming the next CEO tyrant of Wall Street.
What I especially liked about 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do was:
- no pop psychology, quick fixes or faddish positivism – back to basics learning how to manage your own self defeating behaviours through your thoughts, behaviours and feelings – the basis of strong mental health.
- the wake up call I received upon reading it – I had slipped into a self indulgent habit of decline.
- the emphasis on self responsibility – taking control of your inner life to create a satisfying outer life.
A Snapshot of Chapter Headings To Inspire You
- Chapter 2: They Don’t Give Away Their Power
- Chapter 4: They Don’t Focus On Things They Can’t Control
- Chapter 5: They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
If you have already worked with me as your Speaking Coach or Trainer, you’ll recognise many of these same themes. Speaking starts from the inside. Cultivate your inner life to communicate with richness.
Gentle and powerful. I’m keeping psychotherapist Amy Morin’s 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by the side of my bed to keep me on track. And here’s a link to Amy’s website which includes pdf downloads and a link to a TED Talk for those who prefer video to books.
And What You Can Do About It
You guessed it; there is nothing you can do about them.
But there’s quite a bit you can do about you.
I bring this topic up because “ fear of what people really think of you ” is such a recurring biggie for people who avoid speaking up in a public space.
Most of us have experienced this public paralysis. It’s a shocker and the quickest way to drain your self-esteem smoothie.
Why Oh Why Oh Why?
I could talk knowledgably about:
- “Separation from the herd” anxiety (personal fave); or
- “They’ll see I’m a fraud” anxiety; or
- “I’m going to fail and ruin my entire career” anxiety; or
- “The weight of expectations through all those eyes” anxiety; or
- “I’m just not good enough, smart enough, experienced enough” anxiety;
but, I will not talk about them, again. We all know them well and I for one, am sick of them.
Sick of them controlling who I am and what I want.
Are You With Me?
If you are – keep reading.
The easiest place to start? Labels. Language is something you can control. Let’s drop “public paralysis”, also known as “ public speaking fear ” and all its dreadful baggage and instead choose something… attractive, powerful, energising.
I tried out many nifty names and phrases on the casting couch of change, but they sounded:
- Too serious – no, I want to have fun!
- Too new age – ooh, such self-important wisdom!
- Too biiiggg – no, I’m not promising to save the world. Yet.
And My Winner Is:
“From Fear To Fabulous!” Yep and with that exclamation mark.
Why? It just makes me laugh. It’s over the top with a boa feather-ish. My whole body quivers with the joy of it. My husband says my shoulders give a little cheeky wiggle and back they go, chest out, big smile. It’s not just my mind that recognizes the good fit, but my body and spirit too. Energy returns with the right words.
I like From Fear to Fabulous so much I’ve decided to splash it about my website, add it to my logo and have renamed my enewsletter in its honour. It’s a clarion call to anchor and remind me of who I am and what I want. With no fear of judgement.
No more “crash and burn” or “public speaking fear” for you either. Adopt From Fear to Fabulous or choose your own inspiring, powerful words.
Don’t Believe Your Wild Imagination
What people think about you is always and can only ever be, a reflection of their own beliefs and values. Contrary to your wild imagination, other people do not have the power of x-ray vision to see all your flaws.
According to research, most people are thinking about dinner and sex at any given moment. So, count yourself lucky if they squeeze in a random thought or judgement about you.
Is the problem: “Fear of what people really think of you ?”
Or is the real problem, our own fearful belief that they must be thinking the worst?
You cannot control what’s inside other people’s heads, but you can control what’s inside your own.
© 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, Fear To Fabulous Speaking Coach. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au
From the German: The fear that time is running out and you may miss out on more opportunities if you don’t act soon.
Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate!
RATING: TDF (To Die For) Gorgeous Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake that you can say… “I made it myself”! Simple, fast and high impact! This receipe was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s “Meringue Gelato Cake With Chocolate Sauce”.
You Will Need:
- Loaf tin with high sides, lots of cling film, heavy knife, cutting board, crème beaters.
- 300ml plain crème, 100g white meringue, 90g dark chocolate, 30ml brandy, Optional berries to scatter across the top when serving, or not!
Right, begin with whipping the crème. I do it by hand in front of the TV so it takes 30 minutes with a hand beater. That way you can justify day time TV watching. Line your loaf tin generously with cling film with pieces trailing out on all 4 sides.
With a heavy knife, chop up the chocolate block into fine and chunky pieces. Taste test of course. Tip all the chocolate into the crème. Now scrunch the meringue finely into the crème – it is easier by hand and feels very satisfying. Mix it all up. Now add in the brandy. Mix.
Pour and scrape the lot into your prepared loaf tin. Pat down. Now fold over the cling film so it’s a neat packaged log. Pop into the fridge overnight. Turn the tin over and let the ice crème cake plop out. Turn over and unwrap the clingfilm.
Cut your Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake into thick slices. If inclined, artfully drizzle berries over the top. Ta Daa!
© 2018 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice! www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au
Book Review By Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach
Great book filled with simple techniques for professional speakers, singers, actors and voice professionals. It offers useful exercises for anyone who wants greater control over their voice to become a more confident, persuasive and vocally powerful speaker.
I immediately dipped into This Is A Voice to share exercises with my clients. In particular:
- Voice projection for over loud and over soft speakers. Vocal variation adds dimension, depth and variety and ensures listeners can hear and understand you.
- The annoying Australian habit of rising inflection… “This is a lovely cup of coffee?” where every sentence sounds like a question. It causes listeners to assume the speaker doesn’t know what they are talking about and are seeking reassurance. Yup; this vocal habit will not get you elected as the next Prime Minister.
- Body balancing exercise to re-centre yourself before and after speaking. Take a moment to consider how much you have magically learnt about a speaker just through listening to their voice. To astute listeners, so much about us emotionally, intellectually and culturally is revealed through tone, emphasis and word choice. It makes sense to ground and retune yourself before speaking, to ensure you deliver what you intend to say on so many levels.
© 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au. This Book Review of This Is A Voice is the opinion of the author only.
A Common Conundrum
Most of us emerge from our mother’s womb with plenty to say and no worries about who hears it. Why then, with decades of experience, insight and knowledge behind us, do we quiver with self-doubt on invitation to speak?
One of my recent clients, a practitioner of the law, just turned 70. He deliberately hid in the shadows of research rather than the bar, because he feared his spoken words were just not good enough. His written words however were brilliant and he was happily successful behind the scenes of Australian law.
When he came to see me, it was because he’d decided to step out and take a big risk. He wanted, needed, to speak at his son’s wedding. What he couldn’t do for himself and his career all those years, he was ready to do for his son.
I could see it was difficult for him, turning up week after week to see me. He persisted, determined to slip from the grip that held him. He wanted to respond differently whenever he was asked to speak and he was asked to speak often. He wanted to not panic, “But what should I talk about?” He wanted to just say, “Yes”.
I’ll return to his story at the end; first it’s important to explore a bit of subtext. The question, “What should I talk about?” is a common conundrum.
Why Was I Asked To Speak?
It’s generally a compliment when someone asks you to speak at an event, meeting or gathering. It’s weird but true that others believe in us, before we believe in ourselves. Of course another reason could be purely pragmatic. They were desperate and needed a speaker! Seriously though, no one will invite you to speak if they genuinely think you might stuff it up.
What Should I Talk About?
Being asked to speak, can feel like an entire set of very heavy encyclopaedias are sitting on your shoulders. Who are you to sift and sieve the entire knowledge of the world? And then absorb and mush it about a bit to regurgitate exactly the right bits of relevant, witty insights just perfect for your audience? Their eager faces, upturned like expectant flowers, ready to receive your wisdom, your thoughts, you.
Therein lies the problem. And you have created it. By turning it into an amorphous one-way talkfest of frightening proportion.
The Reframe: What Do Your Listeners Need To Know?
Firstly, start with the Old Switcheroo, also known as The Reframe. Ask the Organiser, Who will be there and What do they care about? What should I talk about? Why were you specifically asked? Research what you share in common with group members. It could include things like: desire for change or a love of words.
Secondly, decide on the purpose of your Talk. This will anchor your thoughts into a logical flow and pull, not push, your listeners along with you. Decide:
- Do you want them to learn a specific skill? (“At the end of this talk you’ll be able to…”)
- Do you want to build awareness of an important issue? (“My purpose today is to help you understand the importance of and take action on…”)
- Do you want to entertain them? (“I’m going to share my adventures of the world’s most dangerous places. Although I must say your carpark out the back is one of the scariest places I’ve ever been to!”)
Thirdly, speak about a subject that begins with a personal story. It will be easy to tell and remember because you were there; it’s the story of your own experience. An experience you thoughtfully chose because you know the group will relate to it. Self-consciousness drops away when you allow yourself to get lost in the story. You tap into something much bigger than yourself and it becomes a bridge, connecting you to the whole group. This is where rapport and trust begin.
Fourthly, respectfully choose topics that will not offend but extend your listeners. Ask yourself, What would keep me in my seat as a member of this group? Where does my passion lurk within this topic? What universal truth can I tap into to reach people’s hearts and minds? Listeners want to grow as human beings and like you, want to be seen, heard and attended to. Offer them that and you will be scintillating, whether your topic is Secrets of Cabbage Success or How I Conquered The World With Just One Leg or How To Increase Ticket Sales And Increase Profit.
“I’ve Been Asked To Speak… What Should I Talk About?”
The answer to this question lies in it’s reframing, research, purpose and your passion. The privilege of speaking to a group, whether it’s a Workshop, Team Meeting or your son’s wedding, is about honouring the occasion and the human beings in front of you. Temporarily you have been gifted the Mantle of Leadership. Transfer your focus from you to them. Attend to their needs and you will earn their attention and perhaps their hearts, minds and wallets!
I’ll return now to my original client story and end with his insight gleaned from 6 weeks of being willing to show up and feel very uncomfortable, to achieve something for which he yearned:
He said: “I’ve come to realise that public speaking isn’t about performance. It’s about sharing. And I can do that.”
And he did!
Keep Calm Eat Chocolate
RATING: BW (Beyond Words) Persian Rocky Squares are my own version of dark chocolate Rocky Road which my husband reckons I should sell. He’s horrified I’m sharing the recipe. Make sure you take off your rings and roll your sleeves up. Lots to lick!
You Will Need
- Cutting board, heavy knife, 1 x heat-resistant mixing bowl, 1 large pan the bowl can sit atop, measuring spoons and cup, 1 x medium square/rectangular baking dish, lined with baking paper.
- 180g dark chocolate (I use Lindt dark cooking chocolate), smashed up to make melting quicker, 6 chunks crystallised ginger, cut up very fine, 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut, ¼ cup macadamia or brazil nuts, chopped, 60g mini marshmellows, or 6 snakes or 2 Frys Turkish Delight bars, And the secret ingredient… 1 x big teaspoon rose water syrup. Add this only when mixing the dry ingredients.
Right, start with putting a large pot of water on the stove and balance a flame proof round bowl on the top of the water. Add your smashed up chocolate to the bowl. Heat the water beneath and this heat will slowly melt the chocolate; Keep an eye on it, stir to help along. Make sure it is really runny so pouring will be easy.
Line a medium dish/tray with baking paper for easy removal and do this first before you mix the ingredients. There’s nothing worse than your hands caked in delicious goo while you try to wrestle the baking paper out of the box. Next chop up all the dry ingredients in different sizes to add variety and texture.
Now add the rose water syrup to the dry ingredients and mix through. Once the chocolate is runny, transfer the very hot bowl to the table with a cloth. Working quickly, throw in all your chopped up ingredients and mix thoroughly. Lastly, pour in your rosewater syrup and mx quickly through. The syrup causes the chocolate to thicken so do not waste time here. Scrape the entire mixture into your prepared tray and squoosh it down out to the edges as neat as you can. Take your time with this.
Put in your freezer for a couple of hours then lift the sleeping Persian Rocky by its baking paper. Cut now before its gets too hard and cut into squares with patience. It’s a messy job but someone has to do it and taste test for quality control!
© 2017-18 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice! www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au