First THANK YOU for all the great questions you are sending! I’m loving thinking about the answers.
Please do send any burning questions you have to help you overcome anxieties and find your confidence and gravitas as a speaker.
Let’s make 2022 the year that you have a set of tools to take you smoothly from anxiety to authority, from chaos to confidence, every time the pressure hits this year.
I’ve been busy creating a digital course to help you do just that – it’s coming very soon – watch this space.
In the meantime here is a fabulous question from Instagram.
Q: “Have you any recommendations for “holding it together” and NOT crying when delivering an immensely emotional presentation? You likely know the feeling: throat starts closing, eyes burning, you feel as if you are standing on the edge of a cliff and are about to fall over into a bone fide sob. How to keep yourself from falling over the edge? (And yes, I know it would be a good time to pause and breathe. But anything else you could suggest?)”
A: It’s a hard one isn’t it? Because by definition it’s in the moments that matter most, that we feel the most emotion. At the very moment you most want to speak with power and composure – the eulogy, the wedding speech, the tribute– your voice starts to wobble, and your emotion threatens to become a tsunami that sweeps you away.
Here are three very practical ways to get the control back in the moment:
First – give yourself some distance. Imagine that you are looking down on yourself from space, from a satellite. Notice how that dials it down.
Second – give it a name. Naming it can reframe it, and lessen its control over you.
So, give it a stupid name like Mr. Squishy. Or a friend of mine suggests thinking of a random politician for whom you feel no emotion (she suggests former Labour minister John Prescott. You can choose anyone, as long as they make you feel precisely…nothing).
Third – and perhaps surprising this one – bring the emotion in. Sometimes owning it and naming it to the audience neutralises emotion (this one was taught to me by the actor Jenny Agutter). What if it was okay to own it and name it and say, I’m feeling this? Then you can bring it into the space with you, that elephant in the room, and it will feel okay to you and to others. It has a surprising power because when you can honestly name what you are feeling it is no longer a wave that swamps you, but a wave you can surf. It creates an honesty in the moment that is often very powerful for an audience. Bring it in. Own it. And then you are fully present in the moment which is electric to watch.
I hope these help you.
I shared a short video about this earlier in the week which you can watch by clicking on the link below.
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