Dear <<First Name>>,
we are 3/4 through 2015... what happened? I notice many clients swing into action about now, realising the year is heading to a close. And a reminder, if you are new to this Enewsletter, WELCOME, and if I haven't addressed you by name correctly, please choose "Update your Details" after scrolling to the bottom. Best wishes, Geraldine
|In This Issue:
- Main Article: "The Spotlight Effect On You"
- Focus on "Inner & Outer Calm" Coaching
- Link to Neuronation article on how you can use your brain to handle fear: www.neuronation.com/publicspeak15
- 2 of my recent Blog article links directly below...
Recommended Video - How To READ Your Speech
Ever wondered how to read your speech and not sound like you are READING it? Actress Meryl Streep shows how with effortless ease...
Self Introductions Made Incredibly Easy
Creating a powerful and succinct 2-minute self-introduction is one of the best and cheapest ways to create a good first impression...
" The Spotlight Effect On You "
No One Notices Your Bad Hair Day
It’s true! According to social psychologists, the Spotlight Effect is the tendency for people to believe that others pay more attention to us than they really do. Simply put, the Spotlight Effect occurs because we are egocentrically the centre of our own universe. And because we think we are fascinating, we assume, we must be fascinating to everyone else! However, everyone else is busy being the centre of their own universe, so really, no one will notice your bad hair day.
How did you go with this quiz? These 3 everyday examples of the Spotlight Effect affect us all.
- If you trip and fall, do you quickly look around to see if anyone has noticed?
- If your shirt has a small stain, do you find yourself covering it up with your bag?
- If you say something brilliant at a meeting and no one else comments on it, do you find yourself getting annoyed or doubting the validity of your contribution?
Legends In Our Own Mind
Spotlights magnify and enlarge and what is under that lens appears… bigger. So big, that we are sure others will be able to see us in all our glory, good and bad.
People generally overestimate their impact on others. I see this often with clients assuming everyone in the group or audience has superhuman powers of perception and can see how nervous / incompetent / unprepared or a fraud they really are. Not so.
Groups Not So Scary
Interestingly, when people are members of a group their attention is split between themselves as an individual and that of the whole group. Ever spoken up in a group and felt “ignored”? Or felt the pressure of “so many eyes” and that your every move is scrutinised? Again, not so. At least 50% of the group’s attention at any one time is focused on the whole group, not on you. It’s not that your contribution isn’t valued, it’s just that so much goes on in a group for members to focus on. You just can’t have all the attention all the time!
Nervous About Looking Nervous
Research has found that an audience does not notice you are nervous as much as you imagine. You are often the only one who knows. People routinely overestimate that their internal states (feelings and thoughts) are leaking out and that others can see them. Speakers become nervous about looking nervous and that others will think less of them.
It’s a bit like worrying about not falling asleep. The worry increases adrenaline flow, activates the stress response and you have trouble falling asleep. When people worry about public speaking nerves, adrenaline courses through, the stress response activates sensations including a fast beating heart, shortness of breath, racing mind, feelings of panic, trembling limbs, shaky voice and so on. The fear of social judgement flags potential embarrassment, magnifying the Spotlight Effect to make speaking in public a bigger deal than it needs to be.
Your brain is plastic, which means that anything you have learned in the past can be unlearned. If fear is getting in the way of you achieving your potential, this article "Overcoming Your Fear" by Verity Chadwick at Neuronation explains how you can learn how to change it by changing your brain.
Give Yourself A Reality Check
1. Transfer your attention away from yourself to others. Remind yourself that the Spotlight Effect works both ways. You are not the centre of their universe; they are! Remember that in a group, everyone’s attention is split, so you will be doing well if you receive even 50% of their attention.
2. Shift and broaden your perspective by asking yourself: will I remember this moment in 5 years, 20 years, or at the birth of my first grandchild? And, will this audience group remember my presentation in 5 years, 20 years or at the birth of their first grandchild? I think you know the answer.
3. Listen and watch body language from your audience group when it’s feedback time. If someone says: “That was really good”…. well, believe it. Notice if you habitually ignore positive feedback and focus only on “the awful experience.” When we focus on the fear inside, we miss the valuable, character building, good stuff on the outside.
4. If this all sounds easier said than done, send me an email and set up a time to work with me in a private coaching session. Learn how to activate your Relaxation Response and reduce the glare of the Spotlight Effect - I have 6 spots available in October.
How Will You Handle Your Next Bad Hair Day?
Consistently speakers rate themselves more nervous than what their listeners would rate them. And quite frankly, a bit of nerves can be charming; it's real and authenticity inspires trust. Next time, why don’t you choose to listen to your listeners first, rather than the grandiose, fear-mongering, exaggerations generated by the Spotlight Effect? Let me know how well you handle your next Bad Hair Day!
© 2015, Geraldine Barkworth, Goddess Of Public Speaking
How To Be A Relaxed Overachiever
Would You Like To Glide Through Life, Embodying Inner & Outer Calm?
Confidential Inner And Outer Calm Coaching Coaching with Geraldine is available whereever you are by skype and phone.
Forget the Spotlight Effect, learn to relax and let go of your stress habit.
• Are your stress levels entering the "red zone"?
• Is your inner voice shrieking to be heard, or dying quietly?
• Do you look after the wellbeing of others, but neglect your own?
Learn how to become a relaxed overachiever with your own personalised plan to:
• Transform the Stress Response into your Relaxation Response.
• Rebuild your self confidence and relationship with yourself.
• Find peace, clarity and courage.
Book with Geraldine in September for an October start. 6 places only.