Articles

Attune Your Instrument

Attune Your Instrument

I just saw "Whiplash," the 2014 movie that won a Best Actor Oscar for J.K. Simmons as an abusive jazz music teacher. Beyond the unremitting cruelty, I was struck by the precision of the minute adjustments required by professional musicians to keep their instrument in...

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The Pleasure of Being Seen

The Pleasure of Being Seen

In previous columns I've cited brain research that sheds light on the transformational impact of the Relational Presence practice we do at Speaking Circles, an approach that may be considered the lazy person's guide to dissolving stage fright with groups and in...

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Healing Stage Fright: Attune Your Nervous System

Healing Stage Fright: Attune Your Nervous System

Nervous system resilience--or regulation--is our ability to stay engaged and present, to stay in our bodies and avoid unhealthy fight, flight or freeze when confronted by potentially triggering stimuli in the environment. Nearly everyone has experienced the stress of...

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How to Slow Down Time When Speaking

How to Slow Down Time When Speaking

"It would be an advantage for anyone to make everything appear to move in slow motion. It would give you time to analyze the situation and the actions of everyone and everything around you. It gives you extra time to determine your actions in a pressure situation....

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Essential Elements: Essence Appreciation

Essential Elements: Essence Appreciation

Essence Appreciation is a simple expression of an appreciated essential quality of a person provided as positive feedback. In Speaking Circles, listeners are encouraged to provide Essence Appreciation at the end of a speaker’s turn. Essence Appreciation is the...

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Essential Elements: Breathing

Essential Elements: Breathing

Breathing in the context of Speaking Circles practice refers to the act of consciously paying attention to one’s breath and of deliberately taking full breaths at various points during an act of public speaking, expression, or silent receptivity. In Speaking Circles,...

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Essential Elements: Eye Gaze

Essential Elements: Eye Gaze

Eye Gaze in the specific context of Speaking Circles practice refers to a state of being in soft-focused eye contact with one’s listeners in a way that is personal enough to be human but relaxed enough to be “beyond the level of individual personality.” Prolonged Eye...

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Essential Elements: Relational Presence

Essential Elements: Relational Presence

Relational Presence is the state of experiencing connection with one’s audience without agenda, or even a need for words, in any given moment. It is a foundation for powerful connected communication, where speaker and audience feel as if they are participating in a...

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