How is having surgery like presenting?

Stick with me for this one!

For some people presenting to 1 or 1000 is as terrifying as going into hospital for an operation is for others. When going in for an operation you can have the same thoughts and feelings, that can go through your mind when you are facing a presentation.

You stop sleeping because you are going over and over all the ways in which the surgery/presentation could go wrong, you go through every scenario.

What if I am late? What if, after all the preparation it gets cancelled at the last minute? What will happen to all the money I’ve invested for this presenting opportunity/ Operation, missing work?

What if they are unkind to me, with terrible bedside manner and not interacting with me /your listeners are not smiling, are shuffling, and generally looking disinterested?

Imagining them thinking you are a fool, that you ask ridiculous questions/you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

The adrenaline starts to kick in and you start to sweat, your blood pressure goes up and your short of breath.

The good old Fright- Flight syndrome just kicking in from our cave man days. Very useful when there is a real threat to life (which for some surgery really can be) but….IF you can keep “All Eyes Off You” by remembering we are all just people doing our best. Trying to do our jobs the best we can, wanting to learn and be helped by others, it puts things into perspective.

In the case of presenting, you are giving your listeners a gift. You are giving them your help and knowledge and you can focus on them, not you. And in the case of surgery, well, I just have to remember the Doctors and Nurses are experts in their fields, are used to seemingly stupid questions and really want the best for me. They have a vocation and are there to help. I can just focus on the fact that they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers etc and wouldn’t be there if they didn’t care.  So how can I take all eyes off me for the imminent hip surgery? By being more interested in how their day is going than mine! Roll on August…I’ll be up and dancing by then!

How is having surgery like presenting?

Stick with me for this one!

For some people presenting to 1 or 1000 is as terrifying as going into hospital for an operation is for others. When going in for an operation you can have the same thoughts and feelings, that can go through your mind when you are facing a presentation.

You stop sleeping because you are going over and over all the ways in which the surgery/presentation could go wrong, you go through every scenario.

What if I am late? What if, after all the preparation it gets cancelled at the last minute? What will happen to all the money I’ve invested for this opportunity/operation?

What if they are unkind to me, with terrible bedside manner and not interacting with me /your listeners are not smiling, are shuffling, and generally looking disinterested?

Imagining them thinking you are a fool, that you ask ridiculous questions/you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

The adrenaline starts to kick in and you start to sweat, your blood pressure goes up and your short of breath.

The good old Fright- Flight syndrome just kicking in from our cave man days. Very useful when there is a real threat to life (which for some surgery really can be) but….IF you can keep “All Eyes Off You” by remembering we are all just people doing our best. Trying to do our jobs the best we can, wanting to learn and be helped by others, it puts things into perspective.

In the case of presenting, you are giving your listeners a gift. You are giving them your help and knowledge and you can focus on them, not you. And in the case of surgery, well, I just have to remember the Doctors and Nurses are experts in their fields, are used to seemingly stupid questions and really want the best for me. They have a vocation and are there to help. I can just focus on the fact that they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers etc and wouldn’t be there if they didn’t care.  So how can I take all eyes off me for the imminent hip surgery? By being more interested in how their day is going than mine! Roll on August…I’ll be up and dancing by then!

How To Hum?

In my last blog I suggested that it is important to warm up your voice, before you speak in the morning, by humming. I wanted to expand on this as I was asked the question “How do I know how to hum? I’m humming but I don’t know that I’m doing it properly”. So, I want to recommend that you warm your voices up because so many of us are working far more on Zoom, Skype, just on the phone and your voice is one of your most powerful selling tools. So, we warm it up by starting with a nice loose face and massage the big jaw joint on both sides of your face. Keep going, warm it up as you would have a back massage, massage your face. Now to loosen your lips up make a motor bike noise. Hours of endless fun! So, carry on doing that so that your lips are loose. Now, you want the sound to come into, what we call, the mask of the face. So, not including your nose but in the mask of the face, that’s where you want the sound to come from. You do not want to be humming on the back of your throat, because you don’t want to talk there, but also you don’t want to feel it in the nose because then you’ll sound a nasal. You don’t want to cheat, so humming with your mouth slightly with lips apart, you’re just using your tongue on the roof your mouth. That’s not bringing the sound forward it is sending it up which is also where we don’t want the voice to be. So, not on your throat, not in your nose, not up through the roof of your mouth. Where we want the sound is in the mask the face. So, you aim it there, you aim it to the front, as if you’re humming along a piece of string, out of the window to a point on the wall anywhere that’s far away from you. It doesn’t mean you’re pushing the sound out you’re humming gently along that imaginary piece of string. So, “hum”, just lifting those cheeks up. Now, this isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t necessarily something you ever even thought about. I want you to protect your voice which is why I don’t want you humming on the back of your throat. Nice and forward, along that piece of string. The only thing I’d add to that, is that you don’t have to be singing to understand that you have got a lot of notes in your voice, some of them very high, some of them very low. So, again, to warm those up before you start talking in the morning get that hum and take it up five and down five notes. Anywhere in your voice that’s comfortable. Always lift the cheeks because it’s always much better to be smiling, when you do any of these exercises. Enjoy!

Your Voice Is Your Most Powerful Selling Tool!

As I write this, we’re in the midst of Covid-19 and I imagine most of us now are working from home and therefore we can feel quite cut off. So, it’s important to keep communication open with friends and family, but also, to keep our businesses going. We need to use everything to hand that is there for us to work from home, especially to do with technology and communication. Within that, I would say that your voice is one of your most powerful selling tools, so it’s really important that you do some gentle humming to warm your voice up before you go on a call, or a webinar or a video that you may be doing. Really think about your voice, because you wouldn’t run a race without warming up, you’d hurt yourself. Well, it’s the same with your voice, you can’t utilise all the different notes within your voice if you don’t warm it up. You will be going back to presenting, you will be going back to being with people in person, so it’s really important – practice, practice, practice. As you get out of bed in the morning, just start a gentle hum. The only thing stopping your voice coming out is your lips, so that is where you need your voice to be placed. In the mask of your face. Before you speak, you can wake your voice up by moving the hum up and down your register. Very gently. This will mean, by the time you talk for the first time, you will create a well produce sound and not be clearing your throat or making rasping sounds to your family, friends or clients.

Magical…

Today I went to the meeting of https://southoxfordshirebusinessnetwork.co.uk/  and a Magician Josh Luland took the slot of the 10 minute presentation…it was truly Magical, not only from the point of completely bamboozling a group of over 40 adults, but from the perspective of a masterclass in confident presentation skills!

The room was not obviously conducive for a magic show as it had several posts that slightly obscured the full view of the tricks. Also, the audience were surrounding him, so no matter which way he turned somebody got his back. In spite of these potential obstacles, Josh held our attention the whole time. He made each one us feel he was talking directly to us, by using good eye contact, taking each of us in. His took his time and his voice was clear and well produced, so none of us missed a word. All of this without being at all “flashy”, he really knew how to put on a show. Not only can I recommend Josh for any corporate event, wedding or party as a magician, but also in a masterclass in confident presenting. Bravo Josh!

“Stickyjamfest”

The Teapot Tearoom and Garden at Britchcombe Farm, Oxfordshire put on a yearly music festival “Stickyjamfest”. This year I went to see it and all the performers looked so comfortable on stage, having been given a wonderful opportunity to perform with an appreciative and confidence building audience.

For some, performing on stage or presenting, can make them feel physically sick. But there are tips and techniques to take all eyes off you and make the experience far more pleasurable for all concerned. You don’t have to be a professional singer or performer to enjoy the experience of being on stage and loving every minute of it, or presenting to a room full of people feeling confident as an expert in your field. Understanding you can’t please all of the people all of the time, means you don’t have to. Put all eyes on your audience and your enjoyment will radiate out to them, so they have a good time too. https://www.facebook.com/TheTeapotTearoomandgarden/