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Let Me Give You The Gift Of The Gab

Let Me Give You The Gift Of The Gab

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. Ranking number 13 amongst other popular phobias, it is more common than the fear of clowns, needles, and darkness. We might not all suffer from this phobia, but I’m sure there are times we still feel nervous and anxious when we have to face a big crowd or give a speech in front of a large audience. Yet public speaking is almost one of the most useful delivery tools in our lives.

Remember the times you had to present at school, or pitch a project in class?All these require a form of public speaking. Eventually when you move on to working life, chances are you would still have to speak in front of an audience whether it be in board meetings, office seminars or external presentations where you might need to pitch a proposal to clients. Public speaking is an important asset that we should all strive to achieve no matter how big your fears may be.

Here is a selection of 5 books that will help you through the anxiety, to excel in the public speaking arena.

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris J. Anderson

    There is no denying that (almost) all TED speakers are talented public speakers, and the man behind the TED curtain, who has worked with all these inspiring TED speakers, Chris Anderson has definitely challenged the public speaking game for short talks since his takeover in the early 2000s. The book explains how powerful public speeches are achieved, and equips you to master your next great public speaking stint.

    “There is no formula; no two talks should be the same” as Chris pointed out there is no cookie cutter solution to the best short talk. The core takeaway from this book is about how public speaking is merely a channel to transfer your ideas to your audience’s minds.

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    Reading Duration: 5hrs 57mins

    Get TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking from Amazon at $9.24

    Slide: ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte

      Presentation slides/visual aids are one of the few elements that require professionals to think visually and leverage hard skills. But unlike verbal skills, effective visual expression is not actively taught in schools or business training programs.

      This book is loaded with easy and practical examples of visual story development which can be used by anyone. It will not turn you into a designer overnight, but you will learn the basics of preparing visual aids for presentations. Be aware this is not a book for teaching you how to use keynote, but more of visual storytelling from a design perspective. Get hold of the book if you are someone who is constantly having to public speak, but has only one set of powerpoint templates.

      Reading Duration: 6hrs 7mins

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      Get Slide: ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations from Amazon at $27.84

      Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

        Why is it that some people and organisations are more innovative and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers?

        Speaking just seems to be more desirable than listening, so how then can we get people to listen to us? This book offers comparisons and cases to learn from, as Sinek uses the Golden Circle theory of placing WHY at the core, followed by WHAT and HOW, arguing that we’d be better off if we focus more on the WHY as the golden circle suggest, because “People don’t buy WHAT you do, but WHY you do it”.

        An important aspect of public speaking is in the persuasiveness of your speech, so if you need some tips on sharpening your sales pitch, check this read.

        If you want to be inspired in a few minutes and catch the core of the book, watch Sinek’s TED talk about Starting with WHY:

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        Reading Duration: 5hrs 17mins

        Get Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action from Amazon at $10.23

        Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

          In the book Pitch Anything, Klaff argues that creating and presenting a great pitch is merely science, and describes how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches with the back up of neuroscience. No matter whether you agree with his science method, some of his points are definitely solid, including setting the frame, great storytelling, and how to close a pitch. Expect this book to be your out-of-the-box read for an alternative view on pitching and public speaking.

          Reading Duration: 4hrs 57mins

          Get Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal from Amazon at $13.75

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          Do You Talk Funny? 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker by David Nihill

            Humour can be one of the hardest-to-master elements in public speaking, to speak fluently and capturing the audience’s attention is already difficult, let alone adding humour into the equation.

            In Do You Talk Funny, you can learn skills from comedians, and apply to your day-to-day speaking activities, levelling up your public speaking skills. Of course, what you say/tell is not the most important (because humans can only remember 7% of what others have said), Nihill also delivers advice on managing your crowd, time, the stage, interruptions, and the list goes on. Expect yourself to be a more effective and funny public speaker after a good read of this book!

            Reading Duration: 4hrs 17mins

            Get Do You Talk Funny? 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker from Amazon at $12.13

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            Published on September 25, 2020

            The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew)

            The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew)

            We’ve all experienced the effects of stress in one form or another. Feeling stressed out sucks, especially when it becomes chronic.

            Stress affects everything from your digestion, immune function, cognition, and mood. In simplest terms, stress is your body’s response to changes that take place in your environment that are deemed ‘unsafe.’

            The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect environment for a full-blown stress meltdown. It is normal to feel stressed right now. The world feels like it’s upside down—literally.

            On top of that, the uncertainty and constant health threats surrounding COVID-19 have led to a surge in mental health issues. A study found that 70% of the U.S. population have identified as moderately to severely distressed since the onset of the pandemic.[1] Can you relate?

            It has never been more important to master our emotional health. The pandemic has shown us that, while we can’t control the external world, we always have control over how we respond to it.

            Everyone experiences stress, but not everyone deals with it in the same way. The good news is that you have the power to effectively manage your stress so that your world doesn’t feel like it’s falling apart every time you’re hit with a challenge.

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            Before you can do that, it’s important to understand how the mind-body connection works.

            The Mind-Body Connection and Stress

            Despite popular opinion, the mind and the body are not two separate entities. Your physical body impacts your emotions and visa versa. As you can imagine, if there is disharmony in the body, there will also be disharmony in the mind, which in turn will influence your stress levels.

            One study found that the type of energy patterns that are carried by certain words and intentions can cause physical changes in DNA structure which become the building blocks of your body.[2]

            Have you ever felt a nauseous feeling in your stomach when you’re anxious about something? If so, you’ve experienced the mind-body connection at play.

            The next time you find yourself saying something negative, remember that your thoughts determine how your body behaves. Negative emotions contribute to dis-ease in the body. Be mindful of the words you speak because your body is always listening to you. What you think, you become.

            The Effects of Stress on the Mind and Body

            Life is a rollercoaster ride which means that stress will happen. You cannot hide from it. The best thing that you can do is take preventative measures to ensure that stress doesn’t wreak havoc on your mind and body over the long-term. Here are 3 lesser-known effects of stress.

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            1. Weakened Immune System

            Your health is your wealth. Without you, you have nothing. If you don’t have a strong immune system, your body won’t be able to fight off disease and/or viruses.

            COVID-19 has taught us how important it is to take care of our immune systems. If you want to maintain a strong immune system get a good night’s sleep, do regular exercise, eat healthy foods, take immune-boosting supplements, and commit to relaxation practices.[3] This is how you will train your immune system to work for you instead of against you.

            2. Gut Problems

            There is a strong correlation between digestive health and stress. The gut and the brain are constantly communicating and sending signals to one another.

            Have you ever felt like you were punched in the gut after receiving awful news? Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous about something? These reactions happen for a reason.

            An imbalanced intestine can send signals to the brain, just as an imbalanced brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach pains can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.[4]

            So, the next time you have an unexplained stomach ache, your stress levels could be the culprit. Avoid foods that can irritate your stomach and aggravate the symptoms of stress, like refined sugars and fried foods. I like to take acidophilus regularly which helps to increase healthy bacteria in the gut.

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            Lastly, I encourage you to create a daily Kundalini yoga practice. Kundalini yoga is great for stimulating the flow of energy in the body. There are specific Kundalini exercises that support healthy digestion, some of which include Breath of Fire, Stretch Pose, and Sat Kriya.

            3. Depression

            Stress is a normal response to positive and negative life experiences. However, if you have trouble coping with stress over the long-term, you can put yourself at risk for developing depression. Sustained or chronic stress leads to elevated hormones such as cortisol, and reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine.[5]

            When you experience heightened levels of stress, you are more likely to experience a low mood. Unfortunately, a low mood will make you more prone to not engaging in healthy activities, like exercising and eating well. As a result, your mood will suffer even more.

            This toxic spiraling effect is what causes a lot of people to experience symptoms of depression, like fatigue, anxiety, loss of appetite, or in severe cases, suicidal thoughts.

            COVID-19 has put a lot of people at risk for depression. With everything that is currently going on in the world, people are more susceptible to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness which can precipitate the onset of depression.

            One of the best ways to prevent yourself from falling into a spiral of sadness is to seek professional help. A psychologist or a coach can help you navigate through the difficult times and give you tools for reducing stress and anxiety.

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            Secondly, create a daily mindfulness-based practice and make it a non-negotiable. Mindfulness can be in the form of meditation, yoga, dancing, tai chi, or breathwork.

            Practicing mindfulness helps you reprogram negative thoughts and reassess difficult experiences with a more calm mind.

            Don’t Allow Stress to Take Over Your Life

            You have two choices—you can either let stressors suffocate your health and well-being, or you can transform your wounds into wisdom and rewrite a new story.

            If you’re scared, it’s okay. You’re human. Allow yourself to feel everything, but don’t lose yourself in the mess. Take a deep breath and trust that your strength is greater than any struggle.

            Tips on How to Deal With the Effects of Stress

            Featured photo credit: Christian Erfurt via unsplash.com

            Reference

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