Monday, February 28th, 2011
The King’s Speech and Other Notable Moments
How could I resist an opportunity to blog about last night’s Oscars, when the big winner was a movie about a stammering monarch who worked on his weakness to become a popular leader. We’ll leave the true history about King George VI’s politics aside, and focus on his triumphant ability to overcome his impediment.
If you look at the most popular top 10 lists (widest oceans, tallest mountains, longest rivers) you’ll also find top 10 fears. Number one is always public speaking! Death…is number seven! Now, for those of us in the communication training world, we know that’s because death is final. It happens once, and it’s over. In public speaking you might feel like you’re dying over and over again! So it appeared to be in the movie, The King’s Speech. However, when one works to overcome their anxiety, and they achieve a fluid, comfortable and intellectual delivery, their career possibilities are endless.
So I thought this to be a good time to remind you of some fear busters to beat speech anxiety:
- Take three deep breaths. It’s amazing how many people forget to breathe when they’re nervous.
- Practice aloud, no less than three times. (Melissa Leo might not have let a four letter word slip last night, had she practiced at home first.)
- If you have multiple pages of notes, write the numbers on the bottom or top corner so if you drop them, you’ll be able to put them back together quickly and continue speaking.
- Keep it short and sweet and memorable. No one ever complains if you end a little early. (How many acceptance speeches could have taken that advice?)
- Visualize. If you’ve ever played a sport, this should be a familiar concept. Visualize the great things that will happen.
There are dozens of tips and tools to try to beat anxiety, but this should at least get you started.
Now let’s get back to those acceptance speeches. In a perfect world we would all like to take the microphone and wax eloquent for hours, especially after winning an award of any kind. But in an awards setting when you have dozens of winners to come before and after you, it’s a time to fight the urge to ramble and list, and simply state your thanks and move on graciously. Pick the most important people to your success for that award and mention them by name. Find another way to group or categorize the secondary contributors to your success. And it has been used many times, so try the line, “there are so many people to mention, you know who you are, and I thank you.” Trust me. Your audience will appreciate your brevity.
Also, take a moment to visit the Washington Post online, the Value Added Column by Tom Heath. He adds more about communication in business and Hollywood, while profiling Lothery & Associates, LLC: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022702932.html You’ll find some additional tips for you there, as well!
ADDED/UPDATED JANUARY 24, 2013
If you’re tired of letting the nerves win, or simply looking forward to taming the the flock of butterflies in your stomach, you don’t want to miss the upcoming speech anxiety webinar. If you’re ready for your boss, your colleagues, or even your subordinates to see you in a stronger, more confident light, this webinar is for you.
Register today! You have three options. Just find the one that fits your schedule.
Get Started Here: Once you receive confirmation from PayPal, click the link that says “take me back to Lothery & Associates LLC.” This will take you to the registration page where you will also receive your personal link to the webinar.
The first webinar begins at 3 p.m. EST January 18, 2013. Click Buy Now to register!
Register for the Speech Anxiety Webinar January 25th at 10 a.m. EST
Register for the Speech Anxiety Webinar February 1st at 10:00 a.m. or Noon EST
Tags: Academy Awards, acceptance speech, Best Picture, Colin Firth, communication, Eugene Lothery, Karlyn Lothery, King's Speech, Melissa Leo, Oscars, speech anxiety, Thomas Heath, training, Value Added, Washington Post
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