Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women. - Maya Angelou
Today I'd like to introduce you my 3 Commandments for Conquering Fear: Prime, Pinpoint, Power. Fear of speaking in public is often listed as the most common fear among women, greater even than death. And, Mama, if you would rather shark dive, sans cage, than ask for the raise you totally deserve - there is a problem to be fixed. It is becoming increasingly important, more than important, imperative, for women to speak up, to lead, to stop setting the table and to take our seat at the head of it.
It doesn't matter if you speak your truth on a national stage, at work, or at home - what matters is that your truth is spoken clearly and concisely, in a voice that is stable and sustainable. What matters is that those around you, at the conference table or the kitchen table, not only hear your words - but more importantly - connect with them emotionally, so they are are remembered.
Truth time: Mama, getting from shaking legs and sweaty palms to cool, calm, and collected is going to take more than watching Rachel Hollis talk about confidence on instagram live. There's no shame in that game, I'm a hug
e Hollis fan myself, but the truth is, if you want to create change you're going to have to stop watching and start working. Lucky for you, over more than a decade of working with voices, I have created what I believe are the 3 Commandments for Conquering Fear. Today we're going to talk about number one: Prime. Practice makes perfect, but what to practice..and when..and how. Going into detail about the what's, when's, and how's of mastering public speaking is going too take more than a blog post (come to the webinar!!) but here are the basics: 1) 'Winging it' is for the birds. Great presenters practice...a lot. Brain science tells us a multisensory approach to learning is strongest so: Write down your speech. Record it into a voice app on your phone. Talk it aloud in the shower. Read it before bed/upon waking. 2) Move it, or lose it. Want to lock your speech in quicker? Speak it aloud while on a walk. Listen to it while cleaning your house. Our brains were made to learn on the move. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein produced inside nerve cells when they are active, it keeps the cells functioning and growing, basically it's "Miracle-Gro for the brain" and guess what increases BDNF? Exercise. 3) Don't practice for what will happen, practice for what could. Your legs could start shaking. Great, do a 1-minute wall sit, then give your speech. Your breathing might get heavy. Great, do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, then give your speech. A cell phone might go off. Ok, download the app SoundEffects and have your teenager interrupt your speech with ring tones, baby cries, sneezes. Make the unexpected, expected and you turn fear into function. 4) Record yourself. We are living in a digital world, and you are a digital girl. We all have habits: um's..you know's..physical ticks and tocks. Last night on The Voice Kelly Clarkston was talking about how she "dials a rotary phone" with her right hand when she performs. Most of the time these behaviors are so ingrained, we don't even know we are doing them. Listening to our own voice and watching ourselves on camera can be painful, but you know what's more painful? Looking like a human Picasso during your pitch meeting.