Video: Massively Multi Player Thumb Wrestling by Jane McGonigal

Use Oxytocin To Group Bond

Oxytocin is the “bonding hormone” – the feel good hormone that opens our hearts and minds to each other. Apparently 6 seconds of hand holding is enough to activate the flow of oxytocin through our veins. Important to know this if you work with a group / team / audience and wish to lead them somewhere meaningful and, together!

Jane McGonigal begins this fun and fabulous 7 minute TED Talk with the promise that you’ll feel 10 positive emotions in 60 seconds. She promises and she delivers by showing how to connect a large audience of 1500, physically and emotionally.

Watch this video if you want to learn how to make your presentations dynamically creative. And, if you want to learn how to set up and successfully manage large scale interactive group exercises. Oh and, it’s very well written, tightly delivered and even over-delivers.

Massively Multi Player Thumb Wrestling is also a great warm up, wake up and cool down exercise. It costs nothing and doesn’t even take much time. It generates cooperation, laughter, connection, physical movement, inspiration, perspective and a sense of togetherness. And who doesn’t want more of that?

(c) 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, from fear to fabulous speaking coach, . This video review is the opinion of the author only.


Drunken Prunes And Chocolate

Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate

RATING: Epic Fail! Don’t follow this recipe at home.

Disclosure: I made up this Drunken Prunes And Chocolate recipe and no professional cook is responsible. Of course, this is just the beginning of the Drunken Prune Journey…

You’ll Need:

  • 500 grams pitted prunes, 150 ml brandy, dark chocolate chunks, finely grated lemon rind, double creme to add to a very small and intense serving.


Roughly chop prunes. Place in bowl and throw in brandy knowing you’ve possibly just wasted it. Tip both into super clean glass jar because now you are going to pretend to “bottle it” for a while.

So 1 hour, 1 day or 1 month later, select a gorgeous bowl. Spoon out a couple of tablespoons of very drunken prunes into it. Artfully scatter your dark chocolate chunks. Even more artistically, drizzle a dash of the brilliant yellow citrus rind to lift the darkness.

Now, playfully add a dollop of the double creme or my divine Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake, an earlier successful recipe.

And taste!

Prepare to be very disappointed. My husband ate the chocolate chunks and the cockroaches in the compost bin enjoyed the free booze.


If you think you can do better… send me your successful Drunken Prunes And Chocolate recipe plus photo and I’ll add to this post.

© 2018 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice!

Yes! GDPR Compliant!

We Respect Your Privacy

Have you been inundated with lots of emails relating to the new requirements of the mysterious European Union General Data Protection Regulation, better known as the “GDPR”? As a business operating on the internet, we certainly have!

Goddess of Public Speaking is 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. We are now GDPR Compliant which is what the current fuss is all about.

What Does This Mean For You?

Our privacy policy is now updated in accordance with the transparency requirements of GDPR. These changes clarify:

  •     Your privacy rights and how to exercise them;
  •     How we collect, use, share and protect your personal data;
  •     The legal bases we rely on to process your personal data.

If you’d like to learn more, please view our updated Privacy Statement. It’s effective as of 25th May 2018. For any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact us by email.

Geraldine Barkworth, Chief Voice, Goddess Of Public Speaking.

Voice And Throat Healing Visualisation

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 once, it’s easy 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… your throat… chest… in and out effortlessly from 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.

And 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.

Then Once More…

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… if it feels right for you, make a soft humming sound. Feel it vibrate through your whole throat, whole face, whole chest, whole body.

When you are ready, 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. Flex your fingers. Shrug your shoulders gently. 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.

Gently, open your eyes.

(c) 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, All Rights Reserved.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

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.

(c) 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, From Fear to Fabulous Speaking Coach. This book review is the opinion of the author only.

What People Really Think Of You

And What You Can Do About It

The Answer?

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.

Word Lover: Torschlusspanik

Definition of Today’s Word Lover: Torschlusspanik

Torschlusspanik: What a great word from the German language. It also describes panic pressure from advertising sales designed to compel you to buy right now or you’ll miss out.

The fear that time is running out and you may miss out on more opportunities if you don’t act soon.

Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake

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!

This Is A Voice: 99 Exercises To Train, Project & Harness The Power Of Your Voice By Jeremy Fisher & Gillyanne Kayes

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, This Book Review of This Is A Voice is the opinion of the author only.