Do you turn to jelly when you speak in public?

Why it’s perfectly normal, and what you can do to manage it.

I heard recently that John Lennon threw up every time he did a gig.

Even the biggest comedy stars question their sanity just before they step out onto the stage.

Look at how magnetic Freddie Mercury was as the frontman for Queen. Every person in his 70,000 strong audience felt they were being sung to personally, but he suffered with stage fright, as he was natural shy.

It is well know that Richard Branson avoids public speaking and will only agree to interviews.

If you have ever stood backstage as a performer, speaker or stage hand for that matter, you’ll know, or have witnessed all too well the sheer terror that being put in the spotlight can bring.

Even if it’s just your local village hall, networking event, or team meeting you may too question your motivation!!

The point is.. the end justifies the means.

Our world would be a sadder place if our leaders and idols were not prepared to face their fears.

And it’s the same for you … if you have a message, a skill a product or service to share.

As an employee speaking and presenting to small or larger groups may even be an expected part of your job.

Are you practiced at delivering your messages?

Steve Jobs would spend hundreds of hours on his presentations (you know, the ones that looked effortless) because he knew how important his products were going to be to the world. His team are loyal, respectful and proud to be part of the brand.

So why do we get nervous?

1. It’s a physiological thing. Those pesky stress hormones making our legs go wobbly, our mouth run dry, our palms get sweaty and our voice squeaky and breathy. Essentially, our nervous system is reacting in the same way as if we were being chased down by a tiger!!

Your digestive system shuts down, your pupils dilate and your brain goes to mush. You are primed to flee, but some of us freeze! Perfectly normal.

2. We are thinking more about ourselves than the audience.

  • What if they can see I’m nervous
  • What if they think I’m wrong
  • What if I’m come across as boring
  • What if they don’t like me
  • What if I forget what I need to say

You get the idea….

So how to manage it?

1 Prepare

  • Get your resources organised
  • Arrive in good time

2. Pause

  • Take time for deep breathing before you start
  • Use up some energy with big gestures, by handing out resources and asking questions to use some adrenaline

3. People

  • Focus on who you are talking to and what they need from you
  • Develop a conversational style

4. Position

  • Yourself as the expert
  • Establish the relevance of you message

5. Posture

  • Manage your stance, tone of voice, eye contact and gestures

6. Practice

  • Rehearse
  • Refine
  • Record
  • Repeat

At my last workshop, a young lady came along because she was terrified of presenting at conferences, even though she knew her subject well. She even considered moving jobs so that she wouldn’t be asked to speak in public.

In just a few hours, her whole demeanour had changed, her confidence had skyrocketed and I am so looking forward to helping her develop her skills further.

That was a very good day

Dr. Gill Barham is an international award winning author, speaker, speaker trainer, broadcast presenter, Pilates teacher, nutritional expert and advocate for self–care.

Dr Gill Barham uses her experience and expertise to run UK Public Speaking and Wellbeing workshops and International retreats. These are designed to improve confidence in speaking from the heart and empowering midlife women to make the most of their “wisdom” years.

Gill studied music as her first degree before qualifying as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in the UK. She has been studying functional medicine for the past 8 years and her transformational work has been recognised with a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the AUGP (Academy of Universal Global Peace) A Peace Award from the UPF (Universal Peace Federation) and she is a member of the ATL (Association of Transformational Leaders) Europe and the WAoFP (Worldwide Association of Female Professionals)

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Dr. Gill Barham is an international award-winning author, speaker and trainer, broadcast presenter of the podcast Radiant Menopause, and Women’s health expert.

Dr. Gill Barham is an international award-winning author, speaker and trainer, broadcast presenter of the podcast Radiant Menopause, and Women’s health expert.