My job has recently been transferred from the UK to an Asian country. With the move from my established position to a new challenging role in a new environment, I suddenly found myself lacking my usual level of confidence...

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Find Your English Voice: Accelerated Learning

Posted on Monday, January 16, 2017 by Positivevoice

Having studied Neuro Linguistic Programming, i am very much aware that we all have different learning styles. It is for this reason that some people learn more easily than others. The truth is that not everyone has learned to learn in a way that suits their learning style. You see, we all have different ways of looking at the world. Life is easiest for those who learn through a combination of visual and audio stimuli because this is how we are taught in schools. However, we all learn differently. For an auditory person, it is all about audio books and listening to others speaking, for someone who needs to keep their hands busy, drawing diagrams or writing notes could be a winning way to learn. Additionally, a great deal of people learn best by doing or through interacting with others.

It is obvious to me that a thinking audience is a listening audience; it is for this reason that i always make my speeches, workshops and training as interactive as possible. I don't know what your specific learning style is (i wonder if you do), but i do know which styles should be avoided at all costs.

  • Please AVOID: Monologues and lecture style training where no questions are asked or feedback sought
Some people prefer working through things on their own (this is why i have created my Digital course in accent reduction) others require feedback and interaction, which is why i also offer one-to-one lessons. What seems evident to me is that i learn best when i do a little bit of everything: I listen, i read, i draw diagrams and i pass on my knowledge to other people who find it interesting. There is nothing quite like learning something with the knowledge that you will be able to help others by passing on your knowledge. It is with all of this in mind that i have started working on a new programme; one which is intended to accelerate the learning of languages and the development of a native accent. My focus is on English, but this methodology could be used to accelerate the uptake of any language.One of the principles taught in my upcoming course is the habit of 'listening and reading at the same time'. By this, i mean listening to an audiobook whilst reading the written text simultaneously. I have created a book based on English grammar and combined it with the audio book version. I have included several unusual yet highly effective exercises with the intention of giving you the best chance of assimilating the learnings and putting them into practice. Over the coming weeks, i will be publishing extracts from this new course: 'How to Find Your English Voice'.People often claim that they are not good at languages; it would be truer to say that they haven't yet found the best way for them to learn a language.


The Confidence Secret

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2016 by Positivevoice


When someone comes to me saying they lack confidence, have low self-esteem, anxiety about socialising, fear of public speaking or any similar challenge regarding communicating in everyday life situations, I ask a LOT of questions.

There is not one solution to suit everyone, as we are all individuals who have different life experiences. This is not to say that you shouldn't read books, listen to audios or watch videos on the subject. You will find help and comfort in all these things, but please do not expect one solution to work for everyone.

It is for this reason that we all need to connect to our intuition and become our own coach. It can be as simple as asking yourself several questions:

How do i feel?

What does this mean?

What can i do to change this?

The above questions are the ones i routinely recommend, but you can use your intuition and knowledge about yourself to personalise these questions.

Any negative emotions that come up for you are simply your body's way of sending you a sign; it is up to you to interpret these signs in the most positive and empowering way possible and then take action to find solutions. When you stop receiving the sign, you have succeeded.

Example Scenario
"I find certain people really grumpy and rude around me and this knocks my confidence and makes me feel rubbish when i am around them. They don't like me or respect me and this is why i have no confidence..."

This is just one possible story that someone could be running in their head.

Let's confront and analyse the above statements:

No one can make you feel something, you choose to feel it. What encouraged you to choose 'feeling rubbish', as a response? Some people would have chosen humour, others would feel anger and others wouldn't notice. Did they 'make you feel rubbish' or did the feeling rubbish come before? I wonder what would happen if you chose a different approach? Perhaps they would feel better too. Have you ever noticed how infectious happiness can be?

How do you know that they don't like or respect you? Do you have any proof? Do you like and respect them? Would you like to be like them? You can either model their behavior (if you like it) or create a behavior that allows you to lead by example. I encourage my daughter to do just this for her baby brother.

You can choose to consider people like this to be your greatest teachers; they demonstrate how not to behave and through challenging you can act as a catalyst for you to become stronger and wiser. Perhaps, for instance, they are the reason that you are reading this post right now and thinking about how you can become more confident.

The above scenario might not be exactly what is occurring for you right now, but take my responses and see if you can do this for yourself. Take a notebook and write down how you are feeling. Question it and turn it on it's head. Find positives and solutions. If you can do this, you can be your own coach.

Whilst confidence is far from being skin deep, self care and self-love play a big part. If you look good, you will feel better and if you feel better, you will look good, so look after your looks and your health.

One for the women: I'm a big fan of this new Vegan brand: Maelle (paraben free, sls free, phthalates free, fragrance free, dermatalogically tested, cruelty free, peta approved, Leaping bunny certified and vegan).



So much so, in fact, that i am going to start giving their products away at my events next year and generally recommend them to everyone i meet. You can get yours here: Maelle Beauty Products. I find the products pictured above save the day when my baby has kept me up all night and my sister is raving about the mascara! Look out for: My new YouTube channel for all women looking to be more confident and my hypnotherapy downloads soon to go on sale on iTunes and Amazon!





How to Create More Peace in Your Life: My 2 Top Tips

Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 by Positivevoice

“Be the Change You Wish To See In the World”

 

I used to feel that it was impossible for a person like me to incite lasting change in the world. That is until Mahatma Gandhi’s quote really hit home. I have learned that the most lasting change comes when we lead by example, when we inspire others to do as we do. How we behave as individuals is reflected in the behaviour of wider society.

 

The example that you set now and in the future, will set the tone for the next generation. This concept is particularly poignant for me right now, as I am pregnant with my second child. You don’t need to be a parent to lead by example, though. We are all teachers to someone; family, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

 

How can you make a difference?

 

My Top Tips

 

  1. Don’t take things personally:

 

Initially, this is often one of the most difficult things to do, but with practice, it will get easier and easier. All you need to do is remind yourself that when someone gets angry or upset, it is their fear that is talking and not them! (All negative emotions can be interpreted as fear) They are fearful and by responding with anger you only exacerbate the situation until one of you ‘makes peace’ or until you go your separate ways. What if I told you that by changing the way you feel about this person, the whole energy dynamic will improve?

 

When you remind yourself that all negative behaviour is just fear in disguise, you will feel so much better and will realise that there is nothing to take personally. It is all about ‘them’ and nothing to do with you at all. Eventually, all negative emotions will drop away and you will feel only compassion.

 

EXERCISE

 

Think of someone who you have had conflict with; either recently or in the past, (a small argument will do for this exercise) ask yourself:

 

‘Was this about me or them?’

 

If it is about them: Perhaps you remind them of someone or even of themselves: often the behaviour we tolerate least is the behaviour that mirrors our own weaknesses. For instance, if, in the past you had a problem with listening or your attention span was very short, you might find the same behaviour in someone else absolutely intolerable. So, often the behaviour of others is a reflection of your own behaviour (past or present).

 

If it is about you: ask yourself what you were afraid of? What action could you have taken to dissipate this fear? All emotions can be interpreted as a call to action- after all, when you’re tummy rumbles; you easily interpret that as a call to eat. What do you do when you feel sad? Do you continue to feel sad or do you interpret the emotion and find a solution?

 

What could you have done to remedy your fear?

 

  1. Change yourself first!

 

It is impossible to change others through force. In fact, the harder you try, the more they will resist. It is, therefore, much better to focus on developing yourself, as then you can shine with love and humour * and inspire others to follow your lead. Also, the more you work on yourself, the less other people’s behaviour will disrupt your peace and the less inclined you will feel to try to change them, so you see, it is an upward cycle.

 

Humour is a great tool: react with it and respond with it whenever you can. Humour can lighten the saddest and heaviest of moods. As always, practice makes perfect.

 

Final thought: All war; whether it is on the battlefield, in the boardroom or in the classroom, relates to fear. The best way to heal fear is through love, kindness and understanding.



How to stop feeling STUCK & Start feeling MOTIVATED: One simple technique

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Positivevoice


I have a great remedy for anyone who has ever felt de-motivated and lack lustre. If you have ‘been there’, you will know that sinking, low, frustrated feeling I am talking about. For some people it leads to tears and for others it manifests itself in anger. Like a rabbit caught in headlamps, there is too much fear to move in any one direction.

From time to time, I feel like this too. I have a great tool that not only helps me overcome this, but makes my life better in every way as a result of its implementation. As you can imagine, I no longer fear these moments, as I know that it is simply a way of letting go of the old and bringing in the new. I believe that emotions are not meant to be ‘FELT’, but are rather intended to point us in new directions. I often use ‘thirst and hunger’ as examples because these needs are, for most people, easily satisfied. We feel them, interpret them and overcome them- usually in moments. Do other ‘feelings’ need to be any different?

For me, this month is holiday season. I have little trips away and long weekends all month (lucky me). Work wise things are quiet and Paris (where I am based) is calm. What a perfect time to relax, you may think. Initially, I couldn’t seem to take myself out of work mode and I found myself feeling this ‘stuckness’ I mentioned. So, what did I do? I took some time to really listen to myself. I asked myself how I was feeling and what was important to me right now and I very quickly felt much better.

I set myself a schedule for this year and never factored in holidays and weeks off (whoops) and that feeling was simply my motivated self feeling frustrated, so you see, I was never really de-motivated, just motivated and frustrated at the same time!

How about you?

Take an afternoon or an evening off (or as much time as you can spare) to ask yourself the following questions. Listen to yourself and find out what you really want and then ask yourself how you can achieve it? Dream big dreams and set realistic and satisfying goals.

  1. How do I feel?
  2. What do I really want?
  3. What goals have a set and not yet achieved?
  4. How can I achieve my goals?
  5. How can I change my reality?
  6. What have I been worrying about that doesn’t really matter?
  7. What is really important to me?

Maybe there are other questions that you feel the need to ask yourself. Go ahead and ask them!

Give it a try and see if it works for you too. Do leave your comments in the box, below. 



How to Find Your Passion

Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2014 by Positivevoice


I am one of the few lucky ones who found passion at a very young age. I was 8 years old when i started speech and drama lessons. At this very young age I discovered so many things about the power of the voice and all that could be achieved through subtle changes in pitch, pace and tone. This passion developed in many different directions and continues to do so today.

This post is a little longer than most, as I would like to take you through a particularly incredible process.

Many of my clients come to me in search of peace of mind, confidence or happiness. As chance would have it, we frequently end the session with the realisation that the secret to their happiness lies in a change of career. Over the years, I have developed a great process, designed to help people to find their ideal career. I have never put this into writing and have no idea whether it is a strategy that will work for everyone- all I can say is that it has worked wonders for those I have coached in the past. Give it a whirl and see what comes up for you.

  1. Take out three pieces of paper
  2. On the first piece, write ‘What am I passionate about?’ (by this I mean, what do you feel really strongly about: it could be anything from animal rights, shopping, sport or health’). Write a list of all the things that come to mind and then think again. Often the last things you think of are the very best, so take your time.
  3. On the second piece of paper, write ‘What am I good at?’ Write a list of all the things you are ‘good’ at. This does not need to be anyone else’s opinion, just yours. If you think you are good at ‘writing’, ‘dancing’ or ‘arguing’, then write it down. Keep asking yourself ‘what else?’
  4. Now, for the third list. Your heading is: ‘What acknowledgements, qualifications, experience or rewards have I received?’ (this could be media interest, a degree, a medal or a job). Look back a few years if you want too. Remember, my experience started at the age of 8 and snowballed until I found myself coaching confidence, communication and positive mindset.
  5. Once you have three lists, put an asterisk against the top 3/ 4 on each piece of paper.
  6. Create links between the three pages. We’re looking for a common thread between something in each of those categories.

The first time I did this, it was for myself. I was a graduate working in a PR agency wondering what I wanted to do with my life. Amongst other things, i wrote down three words:

  1. Communication
  2. speaking
  3. LAMDA gold medal in acting
Notice the common theme here, a link between my passion. what i am good at and what i have received recognition for. This is the ideal scenario. 

Please share your results with me in the comments, below, or via email if you prefer: fran@positivevoice.co.uk.



7 Secrets to a Successful Presentation

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012 by Positivevoice



Do Your Nerves Define You?

Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2012 by Positivevoice

There is a wonderful belief within the thinking of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) that we are not our behaviour.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, it took me a long time to fully understand this.

Interestingly, we define people all the time: she is clever, he is shy, she is chatty... These are all just strategies. I shall clarify what I mean by this, at various intervals throughout our lives we develop 'coping strategies'. At school, some people become the 'class clown' or 'bully', others become a 'teacher's pet'. These strategies help them to function in some way. Often, teachers, family and peers confirm these strategies by labelling people in this way.

A strategy can be formed in response to a trauma. One such as fear or anxiety is your body's way of warning you that you're going to get hurt... Interestingly, strategies tend to stick- especially when we keep reconfirming them. It is unlikely that a strategy formed whilst we are at primary school would still be relevant once you enter the working world.

You may be wondering what can be done to create new strategies?

Intention is key here. A great mantra is 'confidence can be learned' or 'With every day that passes, I am becoming more and more confident in every way.' A change in the way that you speak to yourself would be incredibly beneficial.

There are lots of other strategies on my website. It doesn't matter which one you use, the important thing is that you use one that works for you.




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