Writing to you from seat 4C on my flight to JFK this morning. As I leave Miami’s 78F temperatures I’m not looking forward to the balmy 35F in NYC today….. Burrrr.  But, I’m on TV tonight and speaking at the Yale School of Management tomorrow, so off I go.

If you follow my blog much you know how often I’m popping here and there to speak about how understanding communication and the nonverbal signals we send will change your life.

This morning before I hopped aboard I got this email from a screenwriter I worked with last week, “…Not to blow smoke but it REALLY WORKS!! You are a true artist of your craft. Look forward to seeing you again… Best, Raul.” Knowing that I have helped someone keeps me getting up at 5am to get on the next flight.

Sometimes we convince ourselves that something will never work or maybe you even say “…she can do it, but I never could….”

I’ve lost track of the number of times I hear at these events, “Oh Sharon, I couldn’t possibly do what you do, getting up and speaking in front of even a small group let alone a group this size.”

My answer is B.S! My closest friends will tell you that I give new meaning to the words introverted and shy.

Three reasons it’s B.S.….

  1. When your Why is more important than your ego, it becomes a mission to help people transform their lives.  See yesterday’s post if you need to get your Why.
  2. Getting past the fear of public speaking is only accomplished by doing it. Once you have the experience the old gremlin of the unconscious mind can no longer tell you “you can’t do it.”  You just did it.  The gremlin may creep up again and say, “Oh that was just a fluke.” Force yourself to speak in public again and again if necessary. You keep getting better and better.
  3. I’ve never had an audience want to see me fail. They didn’t come to see you crash and burn, they came to hear you give them what they want. I look at it this way, even in an audience of 1000 if I can give just one person the “A Ha” they were looking for then all my pre-show jitters were worth it.

So how do I get those butterflies flying in formation?

Become a conscious master of your breathing.  Too many of us spend our days breathing high in the chest and rapid, constantly activating the fight or flight response. When fight or flight is constantly on, we feel exhausted.  There is no neutral when stuck in the cycle of high breathing.  Breathing completely, low, slow, and full “belly” is nature’s neutral.

Breathing, while natural, isn’t always easy to control. Just as your eyes respond automatically to emotional stimuli, so do changes in your breathing. Changing how you breathe in a situation is often reactive, not proactive. You can tell yourself to breathe low, full complete breaths as you go face the next audience; but the nervous system frequently takes over. Many times, you may not even be aware that your breathing has become rapid and shallow until you find yourself searching for words or feeling as though you can’t think clearly.

Breathing is more than supplying oxygen to your lungs; it profoundly influences your mood, how your brain functions, how sensitive your nerves are, and how tired or alert you feel. Breathing naturally and comfortably, no matter the situation, delivers a verbal and non-verbal message of confidence and poise.

Don’t believe me? Do a little experiment. Quickly sniff (short rapid inhales through the nose) ten times. What are you feeling right now?

Most people feel a twinge of anxiety or anxiousness. That is the beginning of the fight-or-flight response.  Proactively monitor your breathing to make sure your breathing is sending a message of being confident and comfortable.

Enjoy the Adventure

p.s. To catch Coaches World TV sponsored by ICF-NYC tune in tonight at 8:00pm on the following channels:
Time Warner Cable TV channel 56
RCN channel 83
Digital channel 111
without cable box on channel 17
And on Verizon FiOS the line up is:
MNN #1 – Verizon FiOS channel 33
MNN #2 – Verizon FiOS channel 34
MNN #3 – Verizon FiOS channel 35
MNN #4 – Verizon FiOS channel 36

Coach World TV can also be viewed on the Internet at: www.mnn.org.

p.p.s. Time Management Secrets For the Busy Women tomorrow on Beyond Lip Service Radio at 10am pacific I interview the founder of the International Association of Women Small Business Owners, Rachel Johnsen. We are going to find out her top secrets to getting it all done.  www.BeyondLipServiceRadio.com  If you can’t listen in live, it’s will be there as a podcast or on my iTunes channel right after the broadcast.