My promise to you about this e-book is that:
I'll show you exactly how you can, as an executive, entrepreneur, attorney or aspiring speaker become confident, persuasive and powerful as a public speaker in the boardroom and any other place you present your ideas.
First for the sake of clarity, if you are an executive, entrepreneur, attorney or aspiring speaker – you are a leader! You’re either leading a case, a business, or you’re a thought-leader with a powerful message you want to get out to the world.
Either way, leaders are the most important public speakers!
Do you feel nervous when you speak in boardrooms, conferences or other professional circumstances? Or perhaps you prefer to avoid those situations all together?
Have you hit the ceiling of your career because the fear of public speaking has been holding you back from applying for your dream position that includes public speaking?
Does your nervousness ever cause you to stumble over your words or forget the details of your presentation, give you a shaky voice, hands and knees? And you just feel like you’re crumbling.
Or do you just feel inadequate and not good enough as a presenter and it’s been preventing you from expanding your brand into the market so you can grow your business successfully and increase your income?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this book is for you!
Why do companies pay big bucks for a great speaker? It’s the speaker’s ability to inspire, motivate and incite positive action within a business to catapult performance.
Why is it important for leaders to be great public speakers?
If you're a leader within an organization, you are the most important public speaker there - every single day. Your role is to ensure you're motivating your staff, inciting positive action within the business to boost their performance. If you're unable to engage and motivate your staff when you speak, clearly articulate your goals, communicate important messages, or 'sell' them your vision, you may never achieve the dream you have for the business.
As a leading expert in your field, you may be asked to speak at an event or conference to share your knowledge, and if you can't stand up in front of a large audience, you'll never be able to do that effectively. Which means you could be missing out on expanding your brand, growing your business and increasing your income.
As an attorney, you’re leading a case in front of a judge and your peers. If you’re unable to do that, you may never become a highly sought-after, successful barrirster or trial attorney, who wins important cases and it could mean you’ll never get the kind of income you deserve.
Perhaps you've been eyeing out that hot promotion and it's the dream position you've always wanted, but you know it involves having to do public speaking, and you hate public speaking. So, you either don't go for it and miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime, or you're passed up because everyone knows - you don't do public speaking.
You may not be a professional speaker or ever want to be, but if you want to be a great leader that guides your business into the great success you're dreaming about, you will need to be an excellent public speaker.
In the same way, if you're an expert, attorney or aspiring leader and you know your skills, knowledge, and expertise could make a massive difference to others and your bottom line, you'll need to be a great public speaker.
So, if you're a leader - you are a public speaker! And every time you speak, you are your most compelling business card!
The good news is, public speaking is an art and a science - and it can be learnt! I've had the privilege of working with some great leaders, experts and aspiring speakers who've gone from dreading public speaking or not making the impact they want - to nailing their presentations to the point where they gained new clients, were asked to speak again, increased their income and - even enjoyed it!
Imagine yourself as a confident, capable, reputable, presenter who is respected by other experts, the public and your peers.
Imagine what it will be like for you after you have overcome the intimidation factor, lack of confidence, anxiety and or overwhelm of presenting in business. Imagine presenting confidently and persuasively without feeling overwhelmed or anxious when asked questions by an audience.
That’s where we’re headed on this journey together!
WHO IS THIS FOR?
If you're an executive, attorney, entrepreneur or aspiring speaker – A LEADER, and you're serious about getting better results with becoming a confident public speaker what I’m about to share with you will change your life.
Since we’re going to be spending some time together today, would it be ok if I tell you just a little bit about myself so that you’ve got a bit of context for who I am and why the heck you should even listen to me? I’m just going to guess you said yes, so thank you!
I have 17 years experience combined as an Inspirational Speaker, TV Journalist and Presenter, Voice Artist and MC. I graduated college with distinctions in Acting and Directing and I’m an internationally Certified Meta-Coach.
I worked as a TV Journalist for 7 years on South Africa's top actuality program 'Carte Blanche' (similar to 60 Minutes). I’ve presented 4 TV shows of over 140 episodes in total. I’ve also delivered numerous keynote talks at corporate events, conferences, trainings and women's events for over 10 years. I’ve voiced numerous TV & Radio commercials, documentaries for Animal Planet, National Geographic and the Crime and Investigation Channel, multimedia presentations, corporate and online videos for over 13 years. I’ve also MC'ed numerous corporate and women's events for over 10 years.
I’ve confronted brick wielding corrupt municipal officials, free dived with tiger sharks, interviewed numerous gang members in the heart of ganglands and journeyed through some of the most dangerous ghettos and risqué landscapes in South Africa. I was even locked up in a Namibian jail cell after shooting a story!
But we’ll leave that story there!
I was in the media in SA for numerous articles but am now focusing more internationally as my adventure continues. And that’s enough about me, let’s get back to you!
Imagine what your life will be like when - you overcome overwhelm when presenting in business and have become a confident public speaker who is seen as reputable, competent, and who is respected by your audience and your peers.
You NEVER have to worry about feeling overwhelmed and panicking when asked questions during a presentation, causing you to stumble over your words or forget the contents or not feel good enough when presenting ever again.
What will life be like when you know how to overcome your nerves, fears, and lack of confidence so that you can become a respected and highly sought after executive, attorney, entrepreneur or speaker - and expert in your field?
How about when you really know how to quickly shift out of fear and anxiety into confidence? How much of a difference will all of that make for you, your business, your income and your family?
HERE ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF HOW I’VE HELPED MY CLIENTS ACHIEVE THEIR RESULTS:
A client in South Africa recently flew me over to coach and mentor her through MC’ing a 2-day conference for her company’s top clients and colleagues that were attending it from all over the world. She’d never done presenting professionally before - especially not on such a large scale! We worked intensively on personalised strategies and techniques for her to present confidently, speak with authority and to engage the audience effectively.
By the end of the conference, I witnessed numerous clients and colleagues approaching her to congratulate her and sing her praises! Management was so blown away by her performance that she’s now been asked to MC all future South African events for her company.
"OUT-Standing Presenters Coaching and Mentoring programme has equipped me with incredible skills, which have transformed me from a hopeless wreck of a speaker/presenter to a keen, confident and calm one. I found Bonita to be an expert in her field and I now find myself looking forward to the opportunity to speak in front of an audience." Chris: Attorney
"Bonita's AMAZING program 'OUT-Standing Presenters' helped me NAIL a recent speaking gig - so much so that I've created three other opportunities from that one presentation. She's the REAL DEAL".
Yvette: Business Owner and Coach
I’m going to walk you through some of the tools and techniques I use to help struggling leaders get great results.
By the end of this book you’ll discover:
Being a confident presenter isn't for the select few. Once you know how to re-focus your nervous system (which only takes minutes if you know how to do it), then you can quickly boost your confidence right before you present!
Before I share the 3 secrets of how we do this with you, let me ask you, what states do you experience right before you speak in public? Is it fear, anxiety, fear, dread, overwhelm – or maybe it’s excitement?
How is this being created? Well, if we’re entertaining thoughts of:
· Self doubt
· Imagining the plethora of things that could go wrong – like:
o Forgetting our words
o Making huge mistakes that could ruin our credibility and reputation
o Tripping and falling flat on our faces in front of our peers
· Or perhaps we’re ruminating over past experiences where maybe we did made a mistake,
which led us to believe that we’re not good enough and never will be
· Or if we’re comparing ourselves to other presenters and focusing on how great everyone else is
in comparison to how we see ourselves, these are all sure recipes for presenting disasters.
And you can bet your bottom dollar – these thoughts will lead to states like fear, anxiety and dread, which will manifest as sleepless nights, having shaky hands, knees and voices and delivering subpar presentations.
And that’s exactly what we want to avoid right? Because that’s not going to get us the credibility, reputation and advocacy that we may want.
So let’s get into the 3 secrets behind how we get into a super confident state so that we can present at our best.
Why you don't need to be a presenter with over 15 years experience to be an OUTSTANDING presenter!
Yes, experience can create a sense of confidence in our abilities and how we present. Yes, the more we practice something, the better at it we become. Hence the proverbial saying ‘practice makes perfect’ – or as a colleague of mine referred to it – ‘practice makes performance’.
But for some of you who’ve only been in the industry for a few years, or have only presented in business a few times and you’d like to be more confident at public speaking now – not wait until you’ve been doing it for 15 years, the secret to doing this is how we shift our state!
So let’s start by taking a look at what confidence is and how it’s created.
Confidence is a mind-body-emotional state where we believe and trust we have the power, abilities and skills to deliver what we want, or that we can grow, develop and eventually get it.
You might be asking - well Bonita what exactly do you mean by a state?
A state is a mind-body and emotional experience. It’s created by our thoughts, emotions and the physiological response to what we’re thinking and feeling. For example: happy, sad, joyful, excited, angry, frustrated etc.
Why is this important for you as a presenter in business?
Any professional athlete, actor, singer or performer will know that being in a peak state of performance is critical to their ultimate success.
Can you imagine someone like Roger Federer pitching up at Wimbledon feeling down, overtly anxious or intimidated by his opponent? He wouldn’t stand a chance of winning the cup!
Just as they have coaches that will have helped them learn the art of managing their own states, so that they can be at their best – so too do we need to be able to manage ours when we’re presenting so that we are in our peak state of confidence every time.
If we don’t understand the mechanics behind how we create our states, how can we change them? In addition, if we don’t have tried and tested techniques to be able to shift them at will – we will always be a victim of our nerves and other unresourceful states.
Not only do we need to manage our own states – but it is a super valuable tool we can use to shift someone else’s state when the time calls for it.
Imagine how valuable it would be for you to not only be able to shift and manage your own state in and out of business, but also being able to use this tool when you need to manage your client’s state, or to support your children or partner in shifting their states when they’re feeling sad, frustrated or find themselves in any kind of unresourceful state.
That’s why today we’re going to focus on 3 quick techniques that will enable you to quickly shift and manage your state right before you present so that you can be in charge of your mind, body and emotions and step into confidence when you need to most.
So, now that you know how we create our states – by what we’re thinking, feeling, saying and doing - and that we can shift them at will, let’s get stuck into the first secrets to doing just that!
The first secret to shifting our state powerfully before presenting is by ‘shifting our physiology’.
What I’m about to share with you is a scientifically proven technique that allows us to shift our physiology in a way that shifts our own sense of self, as well as our mind-body-emotional state into one of power and confidence - it’s called, ‘Power Posing’.
In the following studies I’m going to share with you, you’ll see how we can use our bodies to change how an audience perceives us, as well as shift our own state.
Let’s start with how we can use our physiology to change our audience’s perception of us. After all, if we’re wanting to look and sound credible, confident and authoritative when we present, this is critical for us to know.
According to studies, 60% of our communication is nonverbal — and some studies have concluded up to 93%! We communicate what we believe about our power nonverbally through our facial expressions, body language and then our voice tone.
If we want to have a positive influence on our audience, and project a sense of power and authority, we have to use 100% of our abilities. Grooming, colors and words alone won’t cut it!
Study #1: Harvard Business School, by Psychologist Amy Cuddy
A group of researchers at Harvard Business School, headed up by Social Psychologist and Professor Amy Cuddy, wanted to know if body language could affect other’s opinions of us. The answer: A definite YES!
To test this, researchers had two groups of participants conduct simulated job interviews. Interviewers were asked to rate the participants on their overall performance, hire-ability and speaker presence (e.g. being warm and centered). While one group went into the interview as is, the other group was asked to pose in power body language for two minutes before the interview.
Examples of Power Poses include:
Standing like Wonder Woman with hands on hips, feet apart Image.
Standing with hands placed on a desk in front of you, leaning into your stance
Or standing, feet apart and arms raised in the air.
Sitting with your feet up on a desk, or feet on the floor and hands behind your head. Or, leaning back in a chair with your own arm on the shoulder of the chair beside yours.
Without knowing which group did the power poses and which group didn’t, the Interviewers recommended the power posing interviewees for the job due to the increased perception of their hire-ability, presence and overall power!
So, power body language does in fact make you more influential, and project a sense of power and confidence.
Just as we can use our minds to change our bodies, so too can our bodies be used to change our minds!
Before we move onto the second study, I’d like to invite you now to adopt one of the power poses for the 5 minutes or so you can experience it for yourself.
Even if you just sit back in your chair now, with your feet up on your desk and your hands behind your head – notice how you’re feeling now and then at the end of 5 minutes notice any shifts in how you’re feeling then.
When you’re ready – assume the position! J
Ok, so what does power posing mean for us in terms of shifting how we feel about ourselves?
Study #2: Harvard Business School, by Psychologist Amy Cuddy
The Harvard Business School researchers found that after just five minutes of power posing, subjects reported having increased their own sense of power, confidence and even happiness while simultaneously lowering their stress levels.
You can use these same power poses before presenting, going to an important event, meeting or date for to boost your sense of confidence, personal power and happiness while lowering your stress levels.
To sum up - you absolutely can use power body language to influence others, and also to feel more confident yourself.
Here’s Some Additional Evidence To Support This for those of you who like the facts:
I’ve discovered that there are currently 46 studies from 96 researchers from university labs around the world, representing various subdisciplines of psychology, including social psychology, health psychology, clinical psychology, and sports psychology that support Amy Cuddy’s evidence on what they refer to as expansive postural feedback.
Amy Cuddy’s lab also recently conducted a systematic review and statistical analysis of power posing studies, which shows strong and robust evidence that adopting expansive postures does indeed increase feelings of power and that many studies have shown that adopting expansive postures increases happiness, mood, and other related emotion variables.
And finally, in another study that’s recently been in the media, conducted by Elizabeth Broadbent and her colleagues, upright posture influenced the emotional states of people suffering from depressive symptoms, improving their mood and decreasing their fatigue.
While all those studies are great to know – it was when I not only applied this technique myself before presenting, but also got my clients to practice it that I was sold on it working effectively!
One of my recent attorney clients was terrified of speaking in court. He would literally get the shakes, his mouth would dry up and he spoke in this small, timid voice because of his lack of confidence. After doing some coaching together, I then asked him to do the power pose before he presented as part of his pre-presentation strategy to get him into his zone. I could see he was quite sceptical but he was desperate to improve his presentation skills and confidence so he gave it a go.
When I saw him for his next coaching session, he was smiling from ear to ear, bursting with excitement at how much more confident and in his power felt after doing the power poses. Not only that, but his manager even remarked at how much better he’d performed in court that day!
So, there we have it! While science is constantly evolving and scientists battle it out amongst themselves to get prove this even further, I can tell you that even my own clients have proven themselves that power posing works for presenting confidently.
If you did adopt one of the power poses yourself while you were listening to this video, did you notice any change…? I’m willing to bet that if you held that position for long enough – you will have.
We are not victims of our nerves and feelings of overwhelm - let me show you how to take charge of your mind, body and emotions so that you can present OUT-Standingly!
Most leaders think It's really difficult to ditch their nerves, that it can take years to build confidence and I have to be the best at what I do to be a confident presenter.
Actually, as we’ve just discovered, we are not victims of our nerves and feelings of overwhelm - let me show you another sure way to take charge of your mind, body and emotions so that you can present OUT-Standingly!
The second, easy and quick technique to shifting our state into one of confidence and power is by using any one or all of the following tools:
Music increases happiness!
Recent research shows that listening to music improves our mental well-being and boosts our physical health in surprising and astonishing ways.
Research proves that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, conducted a study where she injected eight music-lovers with a radioactive substance that binds to dopamine receptors after they listened to their favorite music. A PET scan showed that large amounts of dopamine were released, which biologically caused the participants to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, and joy.
Music Lowers Stress and Improves Health
Billy Joel said, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from.”
Listening to music you enjoy decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. This is an important finding since stress causes 60% of all our illnesses and disease – and it’s one of the most detrimental influencers on how we present. The study showed that if people actively participated in making music by playing various percussion instruments and singing, their immune system was boosted even more than if they passively listened.
With this phenomenal findings, I recommend that my clients find themselves a ‘theme song' to listen to while they’re driving en route to delivering their presentations.
Better yet, listen to that theme song while power posing, so that you’re combining the 2 techniques for even greater impact.
Some examples of theme songs I’ve used before are:
Get any song that when you listen to it, you noticeably feel yourself shifting into a happier, more empowered and confident state.
I apply this technique regularly – even when I may be having a challenging day and within a few minutes I’ve shifted into a state where I feel like I can conquer the world!!
But music is only one part of how we can easily shift our state.
Memory and Imagination
According to a highly regarded model used in coaching and neuro semantics, by some psychologists and even Tony Robbins himself, we learn that memory and imagination use the same neurological circuits as external sensory awareness, which means they can powerfully influence our development and create the states we want.
According to Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics and director of the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University - “Perception and imagination are linked because the brain uses the same neural circuits for both functions. Imagination is like running perception in reverse.”
What this means is that whether we’re having a real life experience, using our senses to perceive what we’re experiencing or we’re recalling a memory of that experience, or we’re imagining what having an experience like that would be like – the same neurological circuits are being used for both functions.
And what that means is that we can use our memory and imagination to create the same shift in our state, as would be happening if we were experiencing that in real life - and that we can do that on purpose so that we can step into our peak performance state of confidence and power at will!
When you’re having that real life experience, your senses are being used to process and perceive all the information you’re encountering.
You might be smiling, laughing, feeling happy, excited, loved and your heart might be open and receptive. You’d more than likely be walking tall, with your chin up as you know that you are the guest of honor that night. You’d be hearing specific sounds of laughter, chatting and music, seeing balloons, lights, people dressed smartly, smelling delicious food, tasting the bubbles from your glass of champagne and given it’s your special day, many people may want to hug you, so you’d be feeling the embrace of arms around you.
As I’ve been describing this scenario to you, I’m guessing that your imagination would’ve been active in seeing, feeling, hearing and even possibly tasting and smelling the sensations described.
Could you feel a shift in how you’re feeling as I described it all…? I did as I was describing it to you. And it’s not because I have some magical powers – but because imagination and memory do!
It’s the same as if I said to you, imagine taking a lemon, slicing it in half and squeezing the juice into your mouth right now. Are you finding yourself scrunching up your face, or salivating a bit more and you can almost taste that sour juice in your mouth.
That happens as a combination of remember a time when you’ve had lemon juice on it’s own and knowing how sour that tasted. And imagining it happening right now!
It might’ve even created a physical change in your mouth and in the muscles in your face as you scrunched it up.
That’s the power of using our memory and imagination!
So what’s the neuroscience behind all of this - what actually happens in the brain?
Whether we’re having real life experiences, imagining or remembering an experience, specific parts of our brain will be lighting up and neurological circuits will be firing off to give us the full experience of that event.
For the sake of simplicity, because the brain is such a complex organ and because I’m not an expert in brain functioning, here’s what happens in the brain at a very basic level:
The Limbic System - in our temporal lobe lights up as we feel the excitement, happiness and emotion we’re experiencing, it lights up when we’re using our memory, when we’re hearing all the sounds.
The Frontal Lobe - just behind our forehead would be lighting up as we speak, for all our voluntary motor activities like walking or using our hands when we gesture.
The Parietal Lobe - would be used as we listen to others speaking, pay attention to what’s going on, all the sensations we’re experiencing.
The Occipital Lobe - would be going wild with all we’re seeing, as it processes all the visual information and the colours coming to us.
The Brain Stem - would be used in regulating our breathing, heartbeat, swallowing the yummy food and drinks.
Here’s the key! When we step into stress, feeling anxious and nervous because of what we’re thinking, imagining and remembering – all of our reasoning, logical and creative parts of our brain shut down! Hence the saying ‘When we get serious, we get stupid’.
We revert back to the primitive reptile brain that only allows us the basic functioning of survival instead of being able to access our sophisticated and developed areas of the brain. And that is when we limit ourselves the most in presenting and in any other situation in life.
It reminds of a time when I first started out doing voice overs professionally over 13 years ago.
When I was first starting out as a voice artist, I often found it quite nerve wrecking when I arrived at the studio to perform. If it was for an advertising agency where I was to voice a TV commercial there would be at least 12 people present to oversee the recording and give me direction.
Doing voice overs is like doing a live performance – the 12 people aren’t just any audience – they’re there to critique every single word’s delivery to ensure it hits the mark they want!
So, when I arrived at the studio. Before I discovered this technique, I’d go straight in, feeling stressed and not in my best state to perform. Inevitably, I wasn’t able to really take on board the direction they were giving and I struggled changing the tone, speed and delivery of the voice over. Let’s just say I did my best, but I knew I could still do better if I was able to manage my nerves better!
When I learnt the power of using memory and imagination, and how I could use that to my advantage, I decided to put it to the test.
The next time and every time after, I’d pull up to the studio, where I’d take a few moments to just sit in my car. I pulled down the mirror in my visor and looked into my eyes. I’d take a couple deep breaths and say to myself – “Bon, you can do this! I believe in you and you’re going to rock this voice over today!”
I’d then close my eyes, and imagine myself in the studio doing the voice over. I’d be smiling, the director and entourage in studio would all be giving me positive feedback and by the time I left I’d be hearing them say – thank you so much that was awesome! We’re super happy with what you did today!
Almost every single time I did that – I experienced that same result in reality. I’m not saying I necessarily willed it into reality. I think there’s more to creating the reality we want than simply imagining it (we need the skills and abilities to perform whatever task we’re doing) but what that use of imagination did for me, was it allowed me to already step into a state of confidence before I walked in. I knew that I was backing myself, I believed in myself that I could and would do a better job than before!
And because I shifted my state from nervousness and anxiety to one of confidence and certainty in myself – I set myself up to have that exact same experience in reality.
When we imagine ourselves succeeding or when we’re remembering a time when we have been successful at presenting or something else – when we’re seeing it, hearing it, feeling it and tasting that sweet success – it shifts our state biologically, in the same way as it would were we actually having that experience!
Doing this not only sets us up for success, but makes it more probable that will have a similar experience in reality!
Because the brain can’t tell the difference between what’s imagined, what we’re remembering and what is real – it’s a powerful tool we can use to shift our state and create the probability of the outcome we want.
The Sixty Second Presenter Supercharger Technique
Confidence reminds me of the acorn in that brilliant animation ‘Ice Age’ where that little squirrel scurries around frantically trying to hold onto it, protect it and keep it. But it seems to remain elusive and every time he thinks he’s got it in the bag – somehow it falls out of his grasp!
Well the 3 secrets I’m sharing with you today form part of the foundation of not only having the acorn, but of planting it, nurturing it and watching it grow until it becomes a solid, giant oak tree – that bears thousands of acorns we can use at will!
Having that solid sense of confidence instilled in us is a process that requires consistent action. Just like the acorn would require nurturing, water, sunshine and de-weeding, so too do we need practices and techniques that cultivate our own massive confidence harvest.
What I’m about to share with you is a scientific technique that is aimed at doing exactly that! And the best part is that it only takes 60 seconds at a time to do!!
De-weeding is probably one of the most important and critical practices we can engage in, in order for us to foster confidence.
What do I mean…?
We have up to 70 000 thoughts per day!! According to some research, up to 98% of those thoughts are repetitive from the day before, and 80% of those thoughts are negative. Those are some pretty astounding stats!
The problem with that is that the more we think the same thought, the stronger that thought becomes until it turns into a belief, and our beliefs inform our behaviour.
For example, the more we think we speak poorly, with lack of credibility, confidence and authority, and if we believe that that thought is true, the more we instil that lack of confidence within ourselves - the less confidently we present.
Here’s some of the fascinating neuroscience behind how that happens.
There’s an old saying in neuroscience – “neurons that fire together wire together”.
What that means is that the more we run specific neuro-circuits in our brains, the stronger those circuits become. The more we practice playing the guitar, learning how to drive a manual car, or speak a specific language, the stronger those circuits become and the better at it we become - until we could possibly do these with our eyes shut! Except driving the car of course.
Even though scientists have known this for years and perhaps you’ve also heard of this before, new research is uncovering another fascinating discovery.
In order to learn something, even more importantly than practicing it is our ability to unlearn, or to break down some of the old neural connections. This is referred to as ‘synaptic pruning’.
This is how it works!
Imagine our brains are these beautiful fertile gardens, except instead of our growing flowers, carrots or tomatoes, we’re growing synaptic connections between neurons. These are the connections that neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and others travel across.
Just as we’d de-weed our gardens at home, so too do we have little gardeners in our brains called ‘Glial cells’.
These little workers speed up signals between certain neurons. But there are other glial cells that are actually there to de-weed, kill pests and rake up some of the dead leaves. These fabulous little pruning gardeners are called ‘microglial cells’. They’re hard at work every day to prune our synaptic connections.
So how do they know which ones to prune?
Researchers are only now starting to unravel this mystery, but they’ve discovered that the synaptic connections that get used less get marked with a protein, C1q (and a few others). When the microglial cells detect that mark, they bond to the protein and destroy, or prune that particular synapse.
And that is how the brain makes physical space for us to build new and stronger connections so that we can learn more.
Pretty cool eh? Here’s the trick though! This all happens when we sleep!
Sometimes when we may feel our brain is full, because we’re learning something new or tackling a new task – it’s probably because it is!
When we’re learning something new, our brain builds connections but they’re ad hoc, and inefficient - kind of like building a bridge in stages. So the brain needs to prune away lots of those connections so that we can build more streamlined, efficient pathways – when we’re sleeping!
During sleep, our brains shrink by up to 60% in order to create space for our glial gardeners to come in and take away the waste and prune our synapses.
If you’ve ever woken up from a good night’s rest thinking more clearly and quickly – that’s why. It’s like defragging your computer.
Even a 10-20 min nana nap will allow our microglial gardeners to clear away unused connections and leave space to grow new ones.
It’s the synaptic connections you don’t use that get marked for recycling. The ones you do use are the ones that get watered and oxygenated.
So what does this mean for presenting?
If we’re learning a new way of showing up in the world, a new way of thinking and believing about ourselves as presenters so that we can become the most OUT-Standing Presenters – confident, persuasive and authoritative – we need to start making space in our gardens – our brains to allow this new way of being to flourish.
If we have been focusing our thousands of our thoughts per day, for years on end on all the things that could go wrong during our presentations, on how we’ve either made mistakes before or how we’ll make mistakes in our future presentations, or if we’re focusing on how nervous we are, how much we hate presenting, how terrible we believe we are at it – guess what’s happening – all those neurological circuits are being watered, oxygenated and fertilized to confirm our lack of confidence and credibility when we present. They’ve become strong beliefs and it’s these beliefs that not only inform our behavior, but also act as attractors of those very experiences in our lives.
However, with this awareness, we can now begin the process of consciously de-weeding, de-cluttering and pruning those unwanted synaptic connections that are reinforcing beliefs that limit us, so that we can make space for our new confident way of showing up.
The more positive, empowering thoughts we can choose to focus on and think about, the less attention we’re paying to the limiting beliefs, which means that our little microglial gardeners can eventually remove them from our minds altogether.
While this may be a longer-term process, here’s The Sixty Second Presenter Supercharger Technique that you can use immediately to start creating a laser sharp focus and clarity.
This technique is intended to:
· Provide us with a strategic way of refocusing our thoughts with a laser-sharp focus on the
outcomes we want right before we present – i.e. to be our most confident selves as OUT-
· Be used as a conscious way of creating and strengthening new synaptic connections in our
brains so that they eventually become our new beliefs that inform our physiology so that we’re
showing up OUTStandingly!!
· Be your 3rd technique to shift you out of any unresourceful states, i.e. fear, anxiety and
nervousness, which might’ve been created by any negative thoughts that might’ve been
dominating your mind, into a more empowered and confident state that sets you up for
succeeding in your presentation.
Write your 3 Presenter Supercharger Statements
Before you apply the technique I’m about to share with you, I’ll need you to please answer these 3 questions in this worksheet, which are going to be used during the technique. Please write all these statements in the first person – e.g. ‘The most important reason behind why I present is so that I can change people’s lives positively’.
1. What is the most important reason for you behind why you’re Presenting?
2. What would you need to believe about you as a Presenter in order for you to feel
3. What would you need to believe about others (audience, peers or judge) that would
enable you to Present at your highest level?
After you’ve answered those questions, I’d like to invite you to print them out and keep them with you daily.
The 60 Second Presenter Supercharger Technique
This technique can be used:
On the day of your presentation – right before you present
The night before you present
A full week before you present
Or daily as your constant Supercharger for accelerating transforming unwanted and unresourceful neurological circuits into supercharged, empowering circuits!
Here are the 3 steps to The Sixty Second Presenter Supercharger Technique:
Remind you of a song? Or am I giving away my age here? I’m guessing if you do remember that song, it means you won’t forget these steps in a hurry now! If not, they’re super simple to remember!
Ok so what do these steps entail:
a. Whether it’s right before your presentation, the night before, or even days before. At least once a day, whatever you’re doing, thinking, feeling, experiencing – take a moment a just stop. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed – it can even be the ladies’ room!
a. You’re now going to collaborate with yourself to refocus your mind using your 3 Presenter Supercharger Statements. Read each of the 3 statements out loud to yourself. Always in the first person so that every part of you knows you’re referring to yourself. You are now instructing your brain to focus only on your empowering statements.
a. As you’re reading them aloud, really focus on listening to each statement carefully so that they’re not just words, but rather your new truth about why it’s important for you to present, your new truth about who you are as a presenter and finally, your new truth about the audience you’re going to present in front of.
With a mindfulness that “Energy goes where attention goes, as directed by intention”, we can now know that whatever our intentions are when we present, is exactly where our attention goes and thus where all our precious energy pours into to make that our reality.
So when we refocus our minds consciously using this technique, we’re redirecting our intentions, so that all we’re giving attention to is our desired outcomes and that’s exactly where all our energy is going to pour into!!
The more we do this, the ore we’re wiring our brains with these new synaptic connections so that they become stronger and eventually form our new beliefs.
At the same time, the more we focus on our new empowering statements and less on the negative thoughts we might’ve been focusing on for your - the more our little glial garners will prune those old, negative connections until eventually they’ll no longer form part of our neurology.
Simple - yet powerful.
Another one of my female executive clients followed this process and even left the 3 statements on the podiumm so that she could glance at them as a simple reminder during her presentations. This constant refocusing of her mind was like a boost of energy, confidence and focus that allowed her to present better than she ever had before.
Ok, so let’s recap what we’ve covered:
Why you don't need to be a presenter with over 15 years experience to be an OUTSTANDING presenter!
We are not victims of our nerves and feelings of overwhelm - let me show you how to take charge of your mind, body and emotions so that you can present OUT-Standingly!
The Sixty Second Presenter Supercharger Technique
If you have enjoyed this book and training, I want to invite you to take it even further.
If you’re serious about your career as an executive, entrepreneur, attorney or speaker, if you really want to be the best presenter you can be in business so that you earn the respect of your peers and audiences, if you believe you’ve got the potential and passion for it, but you just don’t know how to do it, I’d like to invite you to something really cool that I’m doing. For the next couple of weeks, while my schedule permits, I’m making available slots for a free OUT-Standing Presenter Breakthrough Session. I could easily charge $200 for these sessions, but I’m doing this as part of this next iteration of my work I’m rolling out into the world, and as a way to help leaders like you go to the next level. In our session, I will help you evaluate your strengths and the blocks that may have been limiting your progress as a confident, persuasive presenter. Based on your situation, I will help you create a “growth map” with some milestones and also some exercises you can do that will really help accelerate your progress. You’ll find the session super motivating and inspiring and you will walk away with a clear plan of action that you can feel confident in.
I’m making a few slots available this week and I expect them to go fast. So if you think you might benefit from connecting with me one-on-one and talking about your situation and getting my expert recommendations on how you can achieve your goal of being a confident, persuasive presenter THIS YEAR, then I would love to meet you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can book in your free session.
And finally, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for investing your time and energy with me in this book. I trust that you’ve received value from the 3 secrets shared and that, when you apply these tools and techniques that you will see and experience a massive difference in how confidently you present, and as you continue your journey to becoming an even more OUT-Standing Presenter!!!
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com to share your comments or feedback with me, or if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.
Until we meet again – all of the best!