5146_004Welcome to my blog, the place to receive regular and insightful updates on personal influence topics. If you have found your way to this page, you are surely someone looking to enhance your personal influence to make a difference in your life and the lives of others. So tune in for tips and tricks on how to enhance your personal influence for better results for yourself and others. We all have personal influence in spades – we just need to discover it, and set it free.

There’s no glossing over glossophobia!

Yes, that’s right glossophobia.
Many people have never heard of the term – quite surprising given that glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, and the second most common phobia in the UK. The most common fear, apparently, is arachnophobia – the fear of spiders.
For those of us with arachnophobia, the anxiety may be debilitating, but as long as there is someone on hand to get rid of the offending creature, all is not lost.
With glossophobia, however, your career could be at stake. No matter what field we work in, sooner or later, we are going to have to speak in public, and how well we do can make or break us.
A great presentation can influence others, get us a promotion and even change lives. A bad one, on the other hand, can ruin our credibility in the eyes of our peers. Even your technical expertise will not stop people falling asleep in the face of a monotonous presentation, or visibly cringing when your anxiety threatens to overwhelm the room.
So why is glossophobia so widespread?
For many of us, our anxiety is a reaction to a childhood memory. Maybe in school we were asked to read something out loud in front of the class, and our awkward mutterings were received by classmates with scorn, laughter and mockery. As children learning to navigate the world we have an immense need to fit in, and this standing out for all the wrong reasons is an experience we never forget.
Phobias are an irrational fear of something, and are often rooted in one experience which has so much emotion attached to it that we unconsciously decide to let it govern all future experiences which fall into the same category i.e. public speaking.
The way we get rid of it is by simply disconnecting the emotion from that root cause event, and replacing our anxiety strategy with a new and more useful one.
I have been working in the field of public speaking for as long as I can remember. As a child I had a stutter, and as a teenager and young adult, I was both introverted and glossophobic. My route to overcoming these challenges has been a long one, but I quickly realised that speaking in public was a skill I needed to master, and took every opportunity to practise and learn what I could. I also instinctively felt that if I could turn my anxiety into excitement, I could channel it and turn it into a positive force for success.
Fast forward more than twenty years and I am not only speaking calmly and confidently, but also coaching others how to do the same, which is even more rewarding than speaking itself. And in addition to all the practice over the years, I have also studied the best tools and techniques available today to allow me to fast track both myself and others to public speaking success.
There are some really simple and powerful tools out there that allow all of us to be confident public speakers – without the anxiety, and with nothing to gloss over.

Six steps to more impactful conversations

staircaseEvery time we have a conversation with someone, we have an opportunity to make an impact. In fact, it is more than an opportunity, it is a fact. Every time we have a conversation, we make an impact. There is no getting around this. Whichever way we look at it, the person we have the conversation with will go away with an impression, or a feeling, that we alone have created. As Maya Angelou famously said once, and this is a quote I have never forgotten:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

How true is this for you? Can you remember a time when someone made you feel great, or the opposite? Quite possibly you have never forgotten it.
Sometimes the feedback is instant – we can see the impact we have made through the look in their eyes, or a change in their facial expression or their body language. Sometimes we may never know whether we have made an impact or not, or we may only find out years later.

What we do have complete control of is our choice of whether to make our impact positive or negative. Whether you are having conversations in business, or at home, we want to make sure our impact is a positive one, and take steps to ensure it. So what are those steps?

Step 1 – Belief
This may sound like a strange question to start with but what do you believe about the person you are about to have a conversation with? Start with the belief that the person has limitless potential, and it will completely change the nature of your conversation.

Step 2 – Humility
Approach your conversation with humility and curiosity. Be interested in the unique person you are having the conversation with; listen genuinely what they have to say; and know that there are things that they are an expert in. All you need to do is find out what

Step 3 – Connection
Your conversation will be far more impactful once you make a connection, and you do this by approaching the conversation with warmth and then finding out how the person is like you. You will have something in common, and all you have to do is find it.

Step 4 – Independence
Avoid giving too many opinions when talking to someone, unless they ask for it. Ask questions and let the other person find their own solutions. They will go away feeling inspired and energised by the conversation they had with you

Step 5 – Leadership
Make your questions open ones (starting with what and how), since these are the ones that will make people think. Avoid starting any question which might make someone feel judged e.g. “why”, or “Should you…”

Step 6 – Language
Encourage the person you are conversing with (and yourself!) to state what they want, rather than what they don’t want. You get what you focus on, and positive language feels so much more energising.

Go try it out, and let me know how you get on!

If you could change ONE THING about yourself, what would you ask for?

Anything is possibleSome of us are fortunate enough to be completely comfortable with who we are.

Whether we are or whether we aren’t, many of us would change one thing, if we could.

In that well-known children’s story, The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Woodman wanted a heart; the Scarecrow wanted brains; and the Cowardly Lion wanted Courage.

So, what would you ask the Wizard of Oz for?

And what would you do once you got it?

Perhaps you would like to EAT HEALTHIER, so that you could lose weight, have more energy and do more with your friends and family?

Perhaps you would like more CONFIDENCE, so you could have a bigger social circle, climb the career ladder, build up your business or stand up for yourself with that difficult person in your life?

Perhaps you would like to WORRY LESS, so that you could feel calm whatever is going on around you, and enjoy life more?

Perhaps you would like to BE A NON-SMOKER, so that you could look and feel healthier, take up exercise and get more out of our life?

And what would you do if you were more DECISIVE and procrastinated less? With your action taking sped up, what would you have more of in your life?

Sometimes our one thing seems impossible to achieve, but that’s only because we are stuck in our outer mind.

As soon as we switch off our outer mind, the one that does all the chattering to us and tells us we can’t do things i.e. as soon as we get out of our own way, we open the pathway to our inner mind, which is quite simply just waiting for us to tell it what we want.
If you want to change that ONE THING, it might just be easier than you think.

And as Dorothy said to the Scarecrow:

“I cannot tell (if the Wizard of Oz will give you some brains), but you may come with me if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains, you will be no worse off than you are now”.
So why not give it a go?

Could self-hypnosis be the key to a new you?

This is what calmness looks like to me

This is what calmness looks like to me

Anxiety seems to be a common problem among everyone I speak to, and across all age groups.
In today’s world of digital possibilities, we have never had more opportunities, and yet somehow, we seem to worry so much more.

Of course it’s normal in some circumstances to feel anxious – who hasn’t felt a flutter of trepidation in the face of sitting an exam or a job interview; giving an important presentation; visiting the dentist or coping with unexpected turbulence on a flight? In some cases, though, this anxiety becomes debilitating, affecting our ability to relax and enjoy life.

For me, enjoying life is about confidence – the confidence to be myself and be calm and move forward no matter what life throws at me.

When anxiety affects your confidence, and stops you enjoying life, it’s time to get it under control.

Could self-hypnosis be the key?

Self-hypnosis is a simple technique that anyone can learn and benefit from. We all naturally fall in and out of hypnotic states all the time – if you have ever got lost in a film, a piece of music or a task or gone into a daydream and not heard somebody speaking to you, were probably in a trance. The secret is to recognise and understand these states, and to use them at the right moment to get more of what you want out of life and get rid of what you don’t.
It works because when we are under hypnosis, the following occurs:

1. Physical and mental relaxation
2. Access to your inner mind (the inner mind is the only part of your mind which can promote healing, help you learn and remember things easily, change bad habits for better ones and release negative emotions)
3. Silencing of your outer mind (the outer mind is the one which is constantly assessing, judging and rationalising, and not always in a way which is helpful to you)
4. Our inner mind is open to positive suggestions (what we think about and focus on we become)

The end result is that we can use self-hypnosis in two ways to make our lives happier and healthier:

1. Every day to input positive suggestions for a new way of being which changes habits and pretty soon becomes our new reality

2. Whenever an anxiety provoking situation presents itself, giving us relaxation, instant calm and a feeling of being in total control

So how do you do self-hypnosis?

If you want to find out exactly how self-hypnosis works, and more importantly, how to do it, please visit the link below to sign up for my introductory course:


Confidence – how does it work, really?

If you consider yourself to be a confident person, then you probably take confidence for granted.
If you often feel lacking in confidence, however, then you may have pondered the question of what confidence is, and how you can get some more of it. Or perhaps you have wondered how to get some more of it, without ever really understanding what it is.
I do consider myself to be a confident person, although this wasn’t always the case. And even though I have worked hard to “grow my own confidence”, so to speak, I have become interested in the technicalities of how I did it, and whether it might be possible to fast track the process slightly, allowing novices in the field of confidence to get “confidence in a bottle” or “confidence on tap”.
Some might even argue with me that everyone is born confident; it’s just that we get some of this confidence squashed as we grow up and face the knocks in life.
Maybe both views are true. What if we are all born with the capability to be confident, although some of us are more genetically pre-disposed to be confident than others? And what if, no matter how much we are predisposed to be confident, we all get our confidence reduced as we put ourselves out there and try new things.
Finally, what if there were a formula; a way of thinking; which allowed us to remain confident in the face of anything life might throw at us? Now that sounds attractive, doesn’t it!?
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this argument, there is a definition of confidence, and it goes something like this – “trusting that you will be able to do something; a belief in your own powers and abilities”. This definition in itself suggests that confidence is something to do with having skills, which you are either born with or have to develop. Many definitions also talk of trust, and trust is something that is developed over time, usually through repetition, which suggests that you would have to actually use your skills repeatedly to get confident in them.
So confidence may be about doing, and this is certainly what I did. And to develop, you need to stretch yourself, which is also what I did.
There are also times when you just feel nervous about something, because you have never done it before, and you simply need a confidence boost. This can be achieved through simple techniques which use the power of the mind to override nervous thoughts and behaviours. It can also be achieved by using your physiology and voice in the way a confident person would, which also sends a signal to your mind that you are confident, and has you feel so.
Daily habits are also important; and simply adjusting your thought patterns to those of a confident person i.e. framing everything in the positive and telling yourself that you are confident and can do anything you put your mind to, will eventually having you believing the same.
Feeling confident? Why not go put some of this into practice! Why should you be any less confident than the next person?


Can the way we talk to ourselves in the morning make a difference?

Hi there! May I ask you a question, or two questions actually?  How did you find getting out of bed this morning, and what was the first thing you said to yourself?  Strange questions I know, but let me explain.

Many of us find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and particularly as the winter starts to make itself felt, the dark nights draw in, and we want to prolong our time under the duvet. I bet some of you are snuggling right down in your chair as I start to talk about it.  You’re up and about but already wishing you were right back under that warm duvet.  Am I right?

So what was the first thing you said to yourself?  Was it a groan, a moan, or even, heaven forbid, a swear word?  Don’t tell me you swore to yourself when you got out of bed this morning?  Or was that only when you trod on the cat?  Oh you don’t have a cat? I see.  Whatever you said to yourself, I bet it wasn’t the friendliest and most soothing way to speak to yourself, was it?

I wonder if there might be a more influential way to start your day?  What if you could associate that feeling when you first wake up in the morning with a nice feeling or your favourite song, and then say out loud a phrase which really motivates you to feel good and take action?  For me personally, Snap’s “I got the power” is a song which makes me feel invincible, so my brain has it on speed dial.  I call it up whenever I need it, and especially first thing in the morning.  And the trigger for this song is the words in my head which shout “You’ve got this Karen” in a really powerful voice.  From that moment on, I feel ready to take on the world.

We all talk to ourselves, a lot of the time, and its tone is something we can influence, right now.  So what song makes you feel good, and what word phrase would motivate you to influence yourself and others?  Think about it, and try it out tomorrow morning.  And the day after tomorrow, and the day after that.  Before you know it, it’ll become a habit, and your influence will multiply exponentially.