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Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys

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A Godsend for anyone who’s ever suffered that dread of speaking in public!’

If, like almost everyone, you’re petrified of public speaking, the last thing you want is a lecture! And there lies the brilliance of this unique book’s genuinely innovative approach to the issue: Dee Clayton makes the process of overcoming those negative voices in your head (Your ‘Public Speaking Monkeys!’) and becoming an effective speaker lighthearted and fun!

A Godsend for anyone who’s ever suffered that dread, Dee’s refreshingly simple yet amazingly effective multiawardwinning approach has already helped thousands to overcome their fears and become effective and confident public speakers. Significantly, the author’s keenly aware that for most of us, effective public speaking isn’t necessarily an end in itself but a means to other ends for example Dee has already helped company directors to persuade more successfully, doctors to win more funding, mediators to influence international decisions and all kinds of business people to fulfil their potential.

What’s more, this is a genuinely practical guide! Unlike most ‘self help’ books on the topic (or any other), this one doesn’t just tell you what to do; in her chatty, good-humored style, Dee explains exactly how, sharing her own experiences and coaxing the reader through a programme that doesn’t just work it even makes public speaking enjoyable!

Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys® works so well because its easy, enjoyable style is underpinned by Dee’s solid, real-life experience of speaking publicly to tens of thousands of people first in her highly successful twenty-year marketing career (communicating for UK household brands such as Jacob’s Creek, Pizza Hut and Jammie Dodgers to name but a few) and now as a public speaking training specialist. Equally vitally, the book draws heavily upon the NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) techniques and insights in which Dee is a highly experienced Trainer and Master Practitioner.

Taming your Public Speaking Monkeys® is a rare find: a self-help book that really helps and best of all the results come to you quickly and stick with you for life!

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Introduction

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If you have a fear of public speaking or are nervous giving presentations I want you to know its not your fault... Its the fault of your Public Speaking Monkeys or, in the visual shorthand I often use to refer to them in this book:

@(O_O)@

These little fellas are a little bit like wild animals running loose inside your mind. Theyre often out of control and therefore cause you problems. Theyre the voices in our heads; the ones responsible for last-minute presentation nerves, acute anxiety and the fear of public speaking. You know the ones dont you? They whisper or perhaps even roar discouraging and often negative remarks; the voices say familiar things like:

Doubt

More often than not the monkey voices are negative internal voices that put doubt in your mind about your presenting abilities. Perhaps you find the anxiety sometimes stops you even trying to get up to speak so you miss opportunities. The result could be a missed promotion, a lost sale or just that frustrating feeling of not getting your views heard.

 

Chapter 1 – Monkey spirals

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Chapter 2 – Public Speaking Monkeys®

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In this chapter we delve a little deeper into the concept of Public Speaking Monkeys. We learn a little more about them, what they are and the damage they can cause. We uncover the unpleasant side effects if @(O_O)@ are left untamed, the consequences of feeding the monkeys with more and more negative thoughts and the dangers of trying to ignore them. Having understood all this, youll be even more committed to taming your monkeys and see why your current situation can no longer continue. We then spend a little time introducing you to the art and science behind the Public Speaking Monkeys concept, and why this approach works where others may not have.

Behavioural symptoms

This can involve total avoidance of any and all events where speaking in public might be a possibility often backed up with a cunning list of reasons why for the tenth time your colleague and not you will have to do the talk.

More often, its a long list of excuses you bring to the audiences attention as you get up to speak letting them know just how rubbish you really think you are with phrases such as: Im not very good at public speaking or I hate speaking so if I get a little nervous and flustered do forgive me or I hope you dont find this too boring. While this might make you feel better, its not great for the audience! Now theyre not concentrating on what youre saying; theyre thinking about how nervous or boring you are because thats what youve drawn attention to and focused their minds on!

 

Chapter 3 – Changing your mind for long term success

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In this chapter we go into a little more detail about changing your mindset because now we know that the monkeys are in our minds, and if we dont like their current behaviour well need to change it, and thus change our minds. We know what we dont want those negative monkey voices. So now we also need to know whats the most helpful mindset to have to tame the monkeys if we arent any longer going to have those negative doubts, what is the most helpful way we can use our minds to achieve success instead?

We like to think we know how to change our mind but often we arent clear on how to do it long term. Have you ever made a New Years resolution? Have you perhaps stuck to it for an hour, day or month, but eventually youve just gone back to how you used to be? This book helps you to lose your fear and change your attitude towards speaking forever. And in order to make permanent changes you need to know the secret ingredients for positive permanent change.

Below I have summarised the key ingredients we need to consider.

 

Chapter 4 – The “Taming the monkeys” technique & case study

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Taming the monkeys is all about filtering out those voices in your head that just create interference. It might sound abstract. But it isnt. Through the processes in this book you can get your @(O_O)@ working on your side and even turn them into voices of reason. Training your mind to deal rationally with fear is part of a complete solution, not just a one trick wonder. Any presenting fears are a thing of the past. I have worked with many hundreds of people (and their monkeys) and they all have similar experiences - either before they stand up to speak, as they are speaking or even after the talk...They hear little negative voices of self-doubt in their heads saying things like, Youre rubbish, Youre going to mess up or What if they ask me a difficult question?.

Does any of that sound familiar? Its no wonder we cant always give great presentations when this sort of chatter is going on inside our heads, making us feel nervous and fearful! These voices then make us feel bad and that reflects in our body language and how we come across to others... That turns into a downward spiral.

 

Chapter 5 – Your turn to Tame your Monkeys

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Not all @(O_O)@ are bad but those causing you trouble are the ones that are a little bit wild and need taming. The aim of this process is either to get rid of all the wild monkeys or tame and train them to become supportive and helpful monkeys instead because they can be good and helpful too (you may have some of those already). Good monkeys are often quieter and dont cause trouble so youre often less aware of them as they whisper positive or neutral things in your ears.

The problem with the bad monkeys is that if you believe their disempowering mutterings youve already decided how the presentations going to go before you even start. Havent you? You THINK its going to be a disaster. Youve imagined turning up, falling over the wires, getting muddled, forgetting your words, faces like thunder and just when you think its all over you get asked that very question you know you cant answer. Youve already imagined the whole event before youve even thought about what to say!! Thats why its time to get these cheeky little monkeys under control.

 

Chapter 6 – Mindset and body language

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The content for this next chapter is pulled together by answering some of the most common questions from mentoring clients. By this point, as they start to ask these questions, Im delighted - it means no more monkeys getting in the way; they just want to get on and become a good speaker.

Obviously theres more depth to each and every technique but in the interest of keeping this book from becoming an encyclopaedia I thought Id just summarize them so you can begin to practice the ideas yourself.

I could talk for hours on this topic in fact I often do in training courses. But this isnt the book for that. This books about taming the monkeys - and now theyre tamed you might have a few Green ones left that are genuine and telling the truth. Because you may have avoided speaking for so long its very likely that you have a few questions or missing skills. Youve been so busy before worrying about your monkeys you probably didnt get much of a chance to focus on:

Each of these is important, and your mindset is the most important, which is why you needed to clear away the less positive monkeys to make room for new, helpful thoughts. Your body language will mostly come from your mindset, so now youre feeling more positive your body language will express that too. However you may need to unlearn some bad habits, so lets take a look at what to do instead of that old behaviour.

 

Chapter 7 – Preparation, structure & practice

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Now weve taken a look at helpful mindsets, lets cover some tips and techniques for structuring your content and preparing and practicing for your presentation or talk. Lets face it most people have never learnt to do any of these things, so having a technique that you know works for each step will be more than helpful! There are many ways in which you can approach these things and I want to share some of the best and simplest ways Ive come across so far.

First lets look at the preparation side of the presentation an aspect thats often totally missed by some! Preparation is important and, no matter how time-pressured you are, a little preparation goes a long way. In here youll find some helpful tips on how to prepare thoroughly and also how to create a structure for your talk even if it is at the last-minute!

Consider your audience

One of the first things I ask my mentoring clients before they tell me all about their presentation is Whos in the audience? or Whos your ideal audience?. So many times I see people just open up their laptops and start to write a presentation before theyve considered the audience or the structure they need to follow. Many new clients I work with have forgotten that the audience is a key ingredient they used to be so worried about what their monkeys would say that they forgot to think about what the audience wants and needs.

 

Chapter 8 – Delivering the talk and feedback

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This chapter gives some pointers on delivering the talk on the day and how to approach it, including my views on PowerPoint. We also talk about the value of now being able to hear feedback in a balanced and helpful manner instead of having it tainted (often in a more negative light) by those pesky monkeys.

PowerPoint

Dont be like everyone else. Dont assume that everyone else is doing it right because often when it comes to PowerPoint they arent. Do use PowerPoint only to add to what you want to say.. Here are some tips to doing it well:

1. Consider whether you need to use it at all if you need to illustrate something often flip charts can be much more spontaneous and interactive

2. Ensure that each slide has a purpose. A great book to help you get the slides looking good, among other helpful tips, is Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery [Garr Reynolds]

3. Use a consistent look throughout the presentation whilst avoiding a company template that takes up half the screen with your logo before youve even started

 

Chapter 9 – Why is goal-setting important?

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I want to encourage you to do some thinking about what you now want to achieve from your speaking. Instead of just remaining an OK speaker do you want to grow and develop to help you to achieve greater things? Who knows, you probably dont even know yet as you havent had a chance to think about it. The next chapter gives you time to think about the future and all these things youve always wanted to do but felt held back in before. The process I take you though is very thorough and detailed for a reason I know it works! So if youve had ideas of starting a business, teaching your kids how to tame their monkeys, changing career, supporting a charity, starting a club or new hobby, becoming the in-house mentor, becoming an after dinner speaker or speaking up for those that cant be heard or anything at all then spend some time on this chapter.

Everyone says its good to set goals but most people dont - so why bother? Setting goals - and in particular excellently worded goals - provides you with the motivation to do the job even if the going isnt always easy. Goals also help you to clarify your direction and at least highlight if you arent totally clear yet on the destination - and finally goals can give you good milestones from which to keep track of your progress. The following section is written with the purpose of speaking in mind but when you apply this to other areas of life too youll see an amazing difference.

 

Chapter 10 – And finally...

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Youve now successfully learnt how to tame your monkeys ten out of ten, congratulations! After reading the Tips and Tricks section even the few remaining Green monkeys that just needed a little advice and guidance are a lot happier. You dont need to remember all of the Tips and Tricks section - its always there to refer back to when you need it. I hope in the Goals section you really set yourself some motivating next steps to keep you moving forwards - so now would be a great time to re-grade yourself on the confidence scale between 1 to 10 where 1 =no confidence at all and 10 is very confident, relaxed and looking forward to the next presentation.

Your score may vary depending on whether youve actually been presenting as youve progressed through this book or whether youve been reading it first and are now planning to go and present.

If youve been presenting as youve been reading the book youll have experienced the improvement in practice or real life. Youll have noticed the feeling of things becoming easier and easier. You might have experienced a monkey-free presentation or only a few mini monkeys popping up occasionally but with almost no impact on you because you now have the confidence to manage the little fellas. Any mini monkeys are nowhere near the size you felt they were at the beginning when you were reading Chapter 1. Yay! Youve been Dee-monkeyfied!

 

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