Issue September 2011
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Cool, Calm & Connected E-news

Email The Goddess
Of Public Speaking
For Help With Your

Geraldine Barkworth


What's New

2 spots left!

October 27 - 30, 2011
Byron Bay hinterland
2pm Thurs - 2pm Sun

View Retreat Program

Contact Geraldine Barkworth now to secure your spot.

“ Geraldine's speaking retreat was the best personal development I've ever done..." TERESA BASSHAM, ZENWORKZ AUTHENTIC MARKETING

" you can learn public speaking fear from others... and

you can unlearn it as well


Dear Goddess Of Public Speaking...

No one could be more fearful of public speaking than me. I need to drum up business to get people interested in what my department's offering, but I'm too scared to even do a public speaking course. "  S.R., Health Audit Manager

Dear S.R..,
Every year I run an annual Transformational Speaking Retreat for Women. And every year I get asked the same question by a prospective participant: "If I attend the Retreat, will I have to speak?"

Ummm; yes!

Fear Is Good
Fear is a survival mechanism designed to help you recognise danger and either flee, fight or freeze. Fear can feel very uncomfortable with a range of physical reactions including racing heart and pulse, shallow, rapid breathing, trembling knees, chaotic thoughts or conversely a blank mind, nausea, tingling and negative, catastrophic thoughts.

Recognising danger allows you to take action to protect yourself. However, the body does not distinguish between the fear of a late night mugger or an invitation to give a speech. Whatever we greatly fear, our body reacts with a fear response, like the ones listed above.

If we keep fearing the situation or event, eventually we come to fear the feeling of fear itself. If we reinforce it with words like: "No one could be more fearful of public speaking than me..." then you create a self fulfilling prophecy.

Most Common Fears
Here's a list of  some of the most common fears surveyed and not in any significant order: terrorism, spiders, snakes, heights, ghosts, enclosed spaces, people, needles, rejection, failure, death and public speaking.

Interestingly, while fear can be an instant reaction to a perceived threat (like a spider on your car seat), fear mostly relates to future events that haven't even happened. Extreme fear generates anxiety and can lead to stress, avoidance or running away. Many of my clients are very skilled at avoiding public speaking. There comes a time however when it costs you more, personally and professionally, to avoid speaking in public, than the speaking itself.

Red Faced & Sweating
Recently I worked with a man who was fearful of looking vulnerable when he spoke in front of a group because his face became bright red. So he avoided situations that would make him the centre of attention. A bit tricky as he was the manager of a small organisation. When we worked with a video camera, he realised his face was not noticeably red and nor did he look as nervous as he felt inside. It was his fearful belief that he looked silly and was less of a man. He discovered it just was not true. His fears began to drop away and he was able to focus on his message instead of himself.

Hang Out With Confident Speakers
A fear can develop from your own specific traumatic event or through observing the trauma of others. In other words, you can learn public speaking fear from others... and you can unlearn it as well.

The solution? Hang out with confident public speakers or people who are actively embracing their fear like at a public speaking course.

A tip I picked up recently was when you feel fearful (but not to the point of trauma), keep present and stay with the fear. It will reside. Surviving your fear shows you can handle it and that is how self-confidence rebuilds.

Finally to return to S.R.'s opening plea: "I'm too scared to even do a public speaking course." Mmmm, methinks attending a public speaking course is the antidote to public speaking fear. Choose a course that is sensitive to the needs of fearful people and be prepared to "show up" even when you feel fearful. At some point, the fear will pass away when you learn to let it go.

And golly gosh... I still have 2 spots left in this year's Transformational Speaking Retreat for women. As I specialise in helping people transform public speaking fear to become naturally relaxed and fully present speakers, you can be assured that the Retreat like all my courses is gentle and safe with a kpow! fun factor. Email Geraldine for more information now.
Review the Retreat Program.


Rate between 1 and 10 how cool, calm and connected you feel:

When you speak and lead with natural ease and authenticity, you will be closer to 10. When you feel scattered, distracted or unconfident, you will be closer to 1.


What To Do: If you are above a 7 today, notice what's working well and keep doing it. Accept that daily variations in confidence and clarity are normal and natural.

If you are below a 7 today, practise the 6 minute Inner Calm exercise.


To talk informally (chat) or discuss (confer).

"The local council met to confabulate ongoing issues concerning wild street parties of Teven Street, Brunswick Heads.

Email the Goddess your favourite word, define it & put into a sentence.

© 2011, Geraldine Barkworth. Reprintable when full credit is given & whole newsletter is reproduced. Contact Geraldine Barkworth on +61 (2) 6685 1917 or

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