Issue February 2013

Goddess Of Public Speaking Quarterly Update
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Cool, Calm & Connected E-news

Geraldine Barkworth


Geraldine Barkworth

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February Talk Tip

Prepare ahead and practice.
I don't mean in your mind.
I mean with your whole body. Get up from the comfort of your lounge and stand up. Practice pausing and making eye contact. Imagine taking questions and answering. Practicing makes the unfamiliar, familiar.


Geraldine Barkworth is the confidence & speaking coach of Goddess Of Public Speaking, a speciaised coaching and training business. Based in northern NSW Australia, Geraldine has worked with clients in Australia and New Zealand since 2002. She shows clients how to transform facade into authenticity, gibberish into clarity and tension into ease.

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Any work or job that has had the creativity removed and been reduced to filling in blanks.

Australian Institute of Management, "Management Today" magazine.


2013 Event Announcements

Feb 18 - Mar 25, 2013, "6 Weeks To Free Your Inner Speaker." Gentle weekly course for nervous public speakers. Focus is on confidence and connection, not structure and preparation. Mullumbimby Campus, Byron Community College, Mondays, 6-8pm.    2 spots only left! Book Course 13BB011:

Dear Goddess Of Public Speaking...

" You have a special interest in helping women build and refine their public presence. Can you explain how the rules of public speaking and presence are different for women than for men? "      Victoria, Uganda
"Do Men & Women Speak Differently In Public?"
Communication and it's subset of public speaking does vary between men and women. The ability to speak with presence however, crosses the gender borderline. We all get goosebumps whether the speaker is male or female, as the video link below of Julia Gillard shows.

As a generalisation, men often compartmentalise into narrow specifics and thus need to use more descriptive language and join more dots. Women open many interconnected doors to a broad picture and thus need to learn to focus and hone. From my observations as a coach of hundreds of people over ten years, 80% of those being women, I have found 4 primary differences:
  • Gender variations in processing information. To generalise again, men often place more importance on facts and status, women on relationships and emotion, so it's wise to adjust speech delivery to an all male or all female audience as they will relate differently to content and style as you do different age groups and cultural audiences.
  • Personality differences - a reflection of individual's personal qualities and upbringing environment.
  • Power imbalances - many women still communicate from an assumed non dominant position, often diminishing and negating their words and impact. For instance they "forget" to mention their achievements and begin by saying "they don't know much about it", speaking quietly with eyes cast down.
  • Societies' perception and interpretation of gender behaviour (the classic: an assertive man described as forthright and strong, while a woman using the same language and manner is described as "demanding and unfeminine.").

And in terms of similarities, the common public speaking issues I work on with both male and female clients include:
  • Learning to say "no" and how to negotiate from a place of natural strength.
  • Energetically 'holding and taking up the space" with presence and not be 'elbowed out".
  • Increasing general self confidence and self belief in one's abilities.
  • Asking for what they really want and not hoping for a miracle (assertion).
The underpinning issues here are the lack of belief in one's right to be worthy, to be heard and to take up space. These issues are not solely gender issues, but the issues of anyone who is going through a disempowered phase or needing a confidence boost, regardless of gender, class or (dis)ability.

Now on to the second aspect of the question concerning "building and refining public presence" and I'll start with a definition: Presence occurs when someone speaks directly from their heart. Understanding leaps across the room as an energetic ripple, bypassing the rational mind. Heads turn. Hearts engage. Minds open.   

Speaking with presence generates attention and impact through natural charisma. This means if you have a message / voice / speech you want heard, rather than struggle to keep audience attention and inspire interest, you can simply tap into this natural resource once you learn how.

You can see this clearly in the very popular October 2012 "Misogynist Speech" from Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the House of Representatives directed toward Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.  The speech went viral around the world as a breath of fresh air in politics - spoken from the heart with passion and personality. Ms Gillard used the reinforcing and emotive technique of repeating the words" "I am offended when…" Her body is electrically charged, she is fully focused and you believe her… be good if we could get that clarity and passion in all aspects of Australian politics then we might become interested... watch now:

Male or female, presence is far more powerful than a technically correct, neat speech with Powerpoint.

And yes, you can learn how to develop and refine your presence when speaking to others. Email me for a 60 minute consultation, phone, Skype or face to face to learn how. EVERYONE, regardless of gender or confidence level, can learn to speak with passion, power and professionalism.

Time To Take Your Cool, Calm & Connected Pulse!

Using the Calm Barometer below, rate how cool, calm and connected you feel right now between 1 and 10...

When you speak, lead and live 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 "7" or above today, notice what's working well and keep doing it. Accept that daily variations in confidence and clarity are normal. If you are below "7" today, listen to our free recording of the 5 minute Inner Calm exercise.
  You can also download our 2 free A4 Posters of Inner Calm and the Calm Barometer for your wall.

© 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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