The Games People Play
“I don’t mind speaking when I have plenty of time to prepare, but I freeze otherwise.” Are you one of the many I hear from who struggles in that way?
When you’re at a networking gathering for the first time and you’re told you have 1 minute to introduce yourself, do you consider bolting from the room, certain you’ll sound like a fool?
Or maybe you’re in a staff meeting and your boss suddenly calls on you for your opinion. Do you think you sound like you’re speaking an unknown language because you’re so befuddled?
You don’t have to suffer through these situations; there are exercises that will help you become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
In my groups and individual coaching sessions, we practice these one-minute exercises because they work and you will see a difference in a short period of time if you embrace them. Although they can be done alone (you should record yourself if you’re going solo), they are much more effective when you do them with family, friends or co-workers. And they’re fun!
This might seem silly, but I promise you it works. You’ll find yourself more comfortable when asked to speak extemporaneously. Isn’t playing games worth conquering your fear?
Exercise #1: Just Keep Talking
Have a partner set the timer for 1 minute and name an object for you to talk about for that time. It can be any noun. Don’t make it complex…the simpler the object, the more challenging talking about it is. It can be a phone, a dog, a table, a painting, a building, a pen, or anything that comes to mind.
The trick is to talk about the object for a minute. It doesn’t have to be true; it doesn’t have to be serious or funny; it just has to be talked about for the full minute. Then share how that felt for you, and have your partner give you feedback on points like whether you said “um” or “so” often (or any other filler words), whether you talked too fast, or if you shut down completely saying, “I can’t think of anything to say.”
Keep trying! Don’t take it so seriously…just talk.
Exercise #2: Story Starters
Have a partner start a story by saying just a few words, and then you fill in the rest for a full minute. Here are some examples to get you going:
I wish people wouldn’t say...
The wisest advice I ever heard was...
Something is terribly wrong when...
Sometimes I just want to...
I love it when…
I hate it when…
Then, your partner should provide you with feedback about ways you can improve, in a supportive manner. Remember, the feedback is what brings awareness, which brings improvement.
Conquering Your Fear Virtual Workshop
Is fear holding you back?
Do you find yourself remaining quiet when you want to speak up?
Are you avoiding situations that would put you at the head of the table or front of the room for fear of being judged, not being good enough or being exposed as an imposter (you know, that dreaded imposter syndrome!)?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you can put an end to that with this virtual workshop! If you’ll allow it, these 45 minutes will change your life. Transformation is possible when you open up to it!