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Today’s BrainWOD: 092114

By September 21, 2014wod


Practice double-unders, traverse or pegboard

Public Speaking practice:

Take three minutes to choose a topic and make notes.

Speak on the topic for three minutes without stopping. Record yourself, and watch the video. Choose one area to improve next time.

Post a link to your video in comments for professional feedback!

In a post last week, we addressed the need for more practice speaking in front of a group, or to a small group of peers. This is a critical career skill involving knowledge of the topic, confidence and fluency.

Confidence comes through practice, and may be the most important of the three (the “clipboard effect.”) Fluency is the ability to string thoughts together in an understandable way, and is also developed through practice with appropriate feedback. Knowledge of the topic is gained by interest and access, sometimes in a classroom.

We practice public speaking to remove anxiety and build confidence. In children, most of the anxiety comes during the period before their “oral presentation” – making notes, memorization, practicing in front of their parents, who are also anxious about speaking in public, and waiting, waiting, waiting. In adults, the anticipation of a stressful situation is usually worse than taking action. The ten-second countdown before a challenging workout is just like the final moments before a big presentation. When an athlete – or speaker – hears the “go!” command, anxiety decreases because action is being taken.

This effect can be “trained away” with frequent exposure to a stressor. When we practice speaking in public, we’re really training ourselves to be confident and calm when called upon to teach others. The topic is irrelevant to developing the skill.

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