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[Speaking-Out-Loud May 2017] How to deal with the drama queen within
May 04, 2017

In this Issue

I am not a drama queen

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Ain't it awful

When I was a child I was frequently told to STOP being a drama queen. Because the hem came down, it was not a sign my dress was completely ruined or when the phone didn't ring it didn't automatically mean I was now friendless.

However the temptation to fall into catastrophe mode was hard to resist. I felt events, real and imagined, so keenly that the "Ain't it Awful" club and me seemed a natural fit.

Fortunately, I've mostly outgrown those extreme reactions where all I saw was a total disaster, or an absolute debacle of gigantic proportions.

The strategy largely responsible for getting my rampant imagination reined in was "scaling". With prompting I could stand back and place whatever the current situation was on a 1 - 10 rating scale.

It worked. Perspective diminished the sense of all pervasive doom. It helped me see what was, and what wasn't, controllable.

Is this a 1 or a 10 sized disaster?

Do try scaling to test and check the reality of what you're thinking as you prepare to present.

If your state of mind as you stand up to give your speech was on a scale of 1-10 where would it be?

10 is a total cataclysmic disaster of world shattering significance.

1 is a minor temporary blip, an easily remedied irritation or inconvenience.

  • Are you literally likely to die through giving a speech?
  • Is the world ending?
  • Are your loved ones threatened?

What is the very worst case nightmare scenario you can conjure up?

  • Losing your notes?
  • Forgetting what you're going to say?
  • The slide show not working?
  • Nobody listening to you?
  • Everybody laughing at you?
  • Getting the time and/or the date muddled, going to the wrong venue, preparing the wrong topic, losing your voice, ...?

Imagine the full impact of that scenario. Blow it up large. Give it a sound track. Color it. And holding it in your mind, stand back and put the event on the 1-10 scale.

Your answer will put your nerves/fear in perspective. Once it's there it is much more manageable.

If the very worst that can happen is forgetting what you're going to say, you can do something about it. It's called practice.

If the worst case event terrifying you is something beyond your control, a tidal wave washing away the entire building, check it for the likelihood of occurrence and let it go.

You can only ever control what is within your reach. Attempting anything else is futile and a waste of your energy.

Accept and focus on what you can do right now. Fears retreat when they're faced. What you thought was 7 or 8 on the "ain't it awful" scale when you stood up to speak becomes 5 when you've remembered to breathe properly. By the time you're into your speech and the benefits of practice kick in, it's 3 and those public speaking nerves are fading fast.

From anxiety to confidence

Click for more strategies to turn public speaking anxiety into public speaking confidence.

These include:

  1. How to shut down negative self-talk - flip a deadly diet of insults and abuse for positivity
  2. Understanding what happens at a physical level when you're feeling anxious
  3. How to deal with fantasy-land expectations - getting real about what you "should" achieve
  4. and the famous Bring-it-on list - essential for eliminating potential stress points

If you'd like personal, one to one assistance I am available for coaching via skype. Sometimes all it takes is one session to kickstart a profound change of thinking. Find out more about skype coaching

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From the there is always something to learn department

25 Online Tools to Teach Yourself Public Speaking.
This is an old post in terms of "net" years (2012) but it's a goody. Click and you'll find a great collection of links to blogs/websites, useful tools, speech libraries, and more.

Comment, share & connect

If you've got comments, feedback or questions you're most welcome to contact me through my about me page.

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Until next time,
Happy speaking,


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