I was back at it today.  With my public speaking coach.

We started by reviewing what I’d learned from last week.

“Umm. I learned about posture” I said, slumping in my seat.

“Very funny”, she said. “Let’s talk fear triggers.”

“Fear triggers?!” I yelped.

Actually, it was a relief. Seriously. In about 30 seconds she nailed what it is that makes me very nervous at times as a public speaker. Intimidation. With a half baked speech and an audience full of experts I get intimidated.

Very nicely, she positioned it as something almost natural. Her solution? NEVER give a half-baked speech (ok, there was more to it but that’s really the bottom line).

I’ll try.

From there we moved to voice coaching. This was a FASCINATING experience.

If you remember the post from my first session – for all my public speaking deficiencies – my voice is my greatest asset. And no different today. Today we went through a detailed analysis and overall I got an 8.5 out of 10 – a very high rating. Right? (come on, yeah, that’s pretty good.)

Then, we did exercises in volume, pitch, rate, tension and relaxation. Not all easy. In fact some felt downright stupid. I took notes. I practiced. We even did tongue twisters (I’m horrible).

But, these are great exercises.

Then, I did a re-reading of the presentation I’d prepared.

Taped.

And SERIOUS progress.

Then, we did 10 minutes of relaxation exercises.

Then I did another read. HOLY, FRIGGING, SMOKES.

Different person. Different voice. Different read.

I can still picture the smile on my coaches face. It’s not like this is new to her. She’s seen it a thousand times before. But wow. Considering how little time I’d really had to change, the change was remarkable.

So yeah, I’m going back. And REALLY looking forward to it.

You know what’s on the menu?

Storytelling.

Some of you know me. You’ve heard me tell a story. YOU CAN WAKE UP NOW!!!

And by next Tuesday – you won’t recognize me.

I’ll let you know how it goes.