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This simple device can turn awkward self-consciousness into confident presence.  Here it is in a nutshell:

Reframe nervousness as excitement.

And let me spell that out.

Just before you speak, when the nervous pangs are rampant in the pit of your stomach, shift the way you interpret those pangs. Instead of seeing them as symptoms of fear, deliberately, actively, choose to see them as symptoms of nervous energy and excitement. You are charged up about delivering your message to the audience.

Wait a minute. Isn't it better to tell yourself to be calm and relaxed?

No it isn't. That's just denial - a lie to yourself so blatant that your subconscious won't let you get away with it.

But reinterpreting nervousness as nervous energy and excitement, is simply a re-direction of how you express the energy that's already in you - a simple shift that brings a startling result.

One more thing. Help yourself make that shift by allowing your body to move freely, letting all that nervous energy out in positive form. Your fear is no longer working against you, it's now working for you, connecting you with the audience. That's audience cred.  Expect to see little nods of appreciation you may not have seen before. Discover that speaking in public can bring you a buzz of pleasure.

Go and make that audience yours.

Michael

 

 

About Michael Brown

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Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset, based in Christchurch.

He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand. He has special expertise in how to present emotionally charged topics to challenging audiences. Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

One of Michael's books is about his family's adventures sailing in the Pacific.

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