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...

Read more

british accent coaching
Super Speaking Video Courses
Vocal Impact: Download Francesca's DVD and eBook
Let go off Anxiety for now
Let go off Anxiety for now

Positive Voice Blog

Are You a Woman Working in a MAN'S WORLD ?

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016 by Positivevoice

This concept of working in, what is conceived to be, a ‘man’s world’ seems to be on the minds of many of my clients at the moment. I have coached women on voice, communication style and mindset. Yet, again and again, the one thing that changes everything is confidence. This doesn’t mean that inequality is all in your mind, but it does mean that changing the way that you think and feel about it can completely transform your situation.

 

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

William Shakespeare

Are Your Beliefs a Reflection of YOUR reality?

The best way to change your mind about something is to confront your current beliefs. You can either make a mental list or take out a pen and paper (whichever works best for you) and then follow these steps:

1.       Think of something that is holding you back in your work life: For example: ‘I don’t feel confident at work’, ‘I feel inadequate’, ‘I’m not good at my job’

2.       Make a list of your beliefs around your current, undesirable situation- include positive and negative beliefs

3.       Next to each belief (positive and negative), give some solid evidence that this is true

4.       Next to each negative belief, highlight something that disproves it- perhaps you recently won a new project or received good feedback at work.

5.       Finally, remember why you were hired in the first place; someone believed in you. Who was this?

What do these answers say about you right now? (Remember that you are not your behaviour, these answers are just a reflection of your current strategies)

Now

1.       Look at the people around you at work. Do you respect them? Would you like to be like them? Are they good people?

2.       Do you respect yourself? Are you happy being you? Are you a good person?

This blog isn’t about them, it’s about YOU.

If you respect them, but not yourself or feel any unhappiness around being YOU; ask yourself this; who am I when I’m at my best? (What am I doing? Who am I with? How do people see me?) How can you be this person more of the time?

For a moment, see this person who challenges you as your greatest teacher. They may be showing you not just how to behave, but how NOT to behave. Anyone or anything that challenges you, can only serve to make you stronger.

You always have a choice, you can become the victim of your situation or you can take responsibility for your life. You will know when you are acting the role of victim because you will feel a sense of weakness and loss of control. When you rise to challenges and take positive actions to improve your situation, you will feel a sense of inner strength and empowerment.

You always have a choice; either stay in your current situation and change the way you think and feel about it, so that you can find happiness and empowerment there, or move on to greener pastures. Whatever you decide, make the more empowering of the two choices.

Remember that you can't change others, but you always have the power to change yourself. Something amazing will happen when you change the way you look at, and feel about, your situation. Some people call this 'confidence', others call it 'being positive', 'strong minded' or 'thick skinned'; it doesn't matter what you call it, only that you do it NOW.

      



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 become exceptional

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Positivevoice


Anyone interested in personal development will want to improve themselves in some way. After all, we are all a work in progress. Even the greatest teachers still have something to learn.

People often ask me: ‘How can I become more: ‘confident’, ‘positive’, ‘well spoken’, ‘organised’… You fill in the blank.

Here is my answer: ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’, Learn from the masters in the field. All you need to do is seek someone out who ‘knows’. These days we have access to everything. You will find amazing information in books and on Youtube. Once you have read a few books and watched a few videos, you will have a point of comparison and be able, if you so wish, to choose a coach or teacher in order to perfect your skills, but why not start by teaching yourself; by reading a book or watching a video. These days it is SO easy to learn.



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.



Confidence is a matter of minset: How to improve yours

Posted on Wednesday, April 04, 2012 by Positivevoice





Click here for more information on our upcoming events





The Rhetorical Question Technique

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by Positivevoice

Yesterday I was teaching a 6 year old child to improve his voice and confidence. I don’t usually work with children this young, but he is home schooled and incredibly intelligent.

I taught him a couple of little techniques and gave him an impromptu topic to speak about. So, he had no preparation time, just the structure for a good presentation. I obviously had to keep it really simple, as he is only 6 years old. The process I gave him worked really well, so I thought I would share it with you.

Ask a ‘special question’: This is just a rhetorical question/ normal question/ raise your hand if…

He seemed to love the ‘raise your hand if’ option and beamed each time he asked the question, raising his own hand, as I had (Children like fun things and SO do adults)

“ Raise your hand if you like Spiderman” (one example)

A story about you and the topic. The more detail you can add in, the better.

A question about the audience and the topic- in the future.

“I wonder whether you will still like Superman in the future?”

As I said, this is so simple that even a 6 year old can do it. You can obviously add in more interaction and rhetorical questions or even quotes. Questions show a high regard for your audience and help them to relate the topic to themselves. This is my reasoning for placing one at the beginning and one at the end. This draws the audience in and then leaves them with something to reflect on.

For more detailed methods about public speaking, click on: Previous blogs

Positive Voice

Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by Positivevoice

You do not have to look far to find war and negativity, do you? There is always something atrocious being reported on the news - if you care to watch it. Indeed, most of us spend the majority of our days warring with ourselves!

Until we, as individuals, can find peace of mind, how can we expect society as a whole to live in harmony?

The most amazing thing I've found about enthusiasm is that it is infectious! By simply being more positive, you will find that people enjoy being around you and will come to you for advice because you won't be putting energy into their problems, you'll be looking for solutions. If you were to inspire just 5 people and they were to do the same (and so on), you could create quite an impact, couldn't you?

The place to start is your thoughts. Make an agreement today to think only positive thoughts. All you need do is catch yourself when you find yourself being negative and smile - this in itself will take the edge off any negative dialogue. Another great place to start is by repeating a mantra, such as 'I am powerful beyond all belief'. The more often you repeat your mantra, the better you will feel. The best time is just before bed; in order to make your dreams as sweet as possible and first thing in the morning; so that you start your day in the right mood.

I use this one because most people only use a fraction of their ability - this is often because they lack self belief. So, you see, It is important to remind yourself how incredible you are, isn't it?



Keep Motivated

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Positivevoice

People often worry about how to offer constructive criticism. Interestingly, I rarely hear people worrying about not giving enough praise. You may be surprised to hear that the two come hand in hand!

If you focus on keeping your staff and colleagues motivated, you will never need to worry about them becoming de- motivated.

The concept is simple, and comes back to this idea of us all having an emotional bank account. If your deposits into someone's account are low, there will be nothing left to take out when you offer constructive feedback. This will result in your poor colleague going into deficit and we all know what happens then: low self esteem, slumps in confidence and de- motivation.

So, keep your team pumped up with plenty of praise!

Beware, though; false, empty praise won't go very far. Your praise MUST be genuine!

Become a Competent Communicator

Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 by Positivevoice

People often ask me how best to manage their staff or deliver constructive criticism without causing offence.

The quick way:

Sandwich your constructive criticism between honest praise or compassion.

1. Commendation: Offer a commendation by praising them for something they do well or thanking them for doing something. This could be about their punctuality, presentability or the fact that they just made you a cup of tea!

2. Constructive criticism: Ask them about the problem rather than launching straight into accusations or say: 'you're doing well and I'd like to see you doing even better' (notice how I use 'and' in place of 'but'- 'but' always negates what comes before and should be avoided.

3. Commendation: Finish by saying something pleasant, by praising or thanking them. This may seem foreign to start with, but will keep them motivated. Criticism can often perpetuate a problem and demotivate, so this last step is crucial.

As I said, this is the quick way. You can keep people motivated by highlighting the good things they do on a daily basis. Interestingly, a lot of managers only point out the negatives, which can lead to low self esteem and under performance.

Give this more supportive approach a try and notice the results. You may, initially, find it easier in writing... But keep practicing and you'll soon become extremely competent.


public speaking RSS public speaking twitter public speaking facebook
public speaking blog

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

© all rights reserved Positive Voice
Web by VMF