FAQ - JOHANNA WALKER

FAQ

Have questions? Here are answers to FAQ’s that I get asked all the time.
If your questioned isn’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Can you really zap away this debilitating fear thing that comes up every time I get in front of a group?

Well, actually, no. I can’t. There’s no wonder pill or silver bullet. And my magic wand is in the shop. But I will show you how to harness your fear and turn it into power and presence.

TRUTH: for public speaking, the goal is actually NOT to get rid of the fear, but instead to find ways to use it. That fear that turns your body into mush or into a frozen ice block or an uncontrollable bundle of nerves is a GOOD THING — when you know how to use it — and can be transformed into ease, joy and power. (Yes, that includes you. Really.) Getting rid of it completely would make your talk flat and boring and uninspired. And you don’t want that, do you?

What if I have to write a speech and I have no idea what to speak about?

I can help you with that, for sure. We’ll do some exercises to hone in on your key message. We’ll dig and scratch and uncover the seed of your unique message, and map out a talk that can convey it with strength and heart. Whether you’re wanting to promote your business or change the world with your words, we can get to the heart of what makes your message uniquely yours.

But remember: the words you say are actually a very small percentage of what gets communicated. Your presence and confidence are most of what comes across, so we’ll get you on track in those areas, too.

How does it work? What’s the secret?

I show up. I stick with you through the process. I give you some very tangible, easy-to-implement, tools and practices, to build a richer more resonant voice and turn that fear into your battery pack. I’ll stick with you through the nitty gritty resistances and bumps to find joy and play in reclaiming your powerful voice and getting your message out into the world so that people will listen and come running to your door asking for more!

Sometimes when I speak I feel completely alone in a vast sea of enemy attack piranhas. Is there any hope for me?

Absolutely. Connection (with your audience) is one of the key elements we work on. Great communication is both impacting others intentionally and deeply listening. And you can listen even if you’re giving an hour-long speech with no interaction. We’ll work on skills to get the giving and receiving loop up and running, so you’ll never feel alone again. (Or attacked by pythons. At least onstage. When there aren’t any pythons.)

Do I have to do homework?

Yes. Not the kind of homework where you look in the back of the book for the answers and don’t remember anything after the test and get in trouble when you don’t do it. It’s the kind of homework that’s actually fun and you get to practice and incorporate it into your days. The patterns that have gotten in the way of your brilliance before aren’t gonna change overnight, but they will change over time, and the more you show up for the practices, the more they will show up for you. We’ll set up fun and supportive systems that will make it easy to bring these practices into your daily routine. You’ll surprise yourself by finding new possibilities!

What will we actually DO in a session?

Each package begins with a 90-minute session during which you’ll show me about 10 minutes of a talk. I’ll watch your current speaking style and give recommendations for things you can work on to make your speaking even more effective. Together we’ll map out a plan that will send you soaring. This is not a test or a performance, just a way for us to get a starting point.

I see you’re certified in the WholeSpeak method of coaching. What’s that?

Yep. It’s not the only thing that informs my work, but it’s a big part of it. WholeSpeak teaches us to use the whole body — really, the whole person — in public speaking. Depending on what you need, it focuses on 5 areas:

1. CONTENT: What’s your message? What are you pitching or promoting or passionate about? We’ll talk about all the parts to a speech: attention-getters, structure, stories, calls to action. If you’re not giving a speech anytime soon, we’ll craft your one-minute version of your work in the world. We’ll fine tune that new idea. Whatever you want to say, we’ll find the words to say it.

2. COMFORT: Nervousness, fear and self-doubt can be transformed into ease, joy and power. (Yes, that includes you. Really.) We’ll develop a warmup routine – not only to do before events when you speak or perform, but also ideally to practice frequently to enrich your experience of simply being alive.

3. CONNECTION: Great communication is both impacting others intentionally and deeply listening—even if you’re giving an hour-long speech with no interaction. We’ll improve this too.

4. CHANGE: The key to keeping others’ rapt attention is by fully inhabiting and exploring your voice and your body and in finding your full vocal and physical range. Putting attention and practice here translates to powerful speaking styles.

5. CHARISMA: Most people don’t realize that charisma can be learned. Charisma is the art of being fully present – emotionally, physically, and mentally. Learn how to be the most dynamic, engaging you.

How long will it take?

Depends on what you’re after. I’ve got different packages to address different needs. Take advantage of my free 30 minute assessment to find the package that’s right for you. There’s a lot we can do with a 3-session package, but if you really want to make lasting change, a 9-session package will help you get at those underlying patterns and make some sustainable changes.

Do I have to do it alone? Do you teach classes? Can I do it with a friend?

You never have to do anything difficult alone. I am leading a group training in Fall 2013. (Click here for more info) Be sure to get on the mailing list so you’ll be the first to hear when registration opens. If private sessions or group trainings aren’t for you, gather a few friends together and we’ll form a small team of allies to work together. You’ll all get to support each other in reclaiming your powerful voices while making big impact.

Will I have to speak in front of you? … (Ew. That’s awkward.)

Yes. Most likely you will need to speak in front of me. That’s what we’re here for, right? A lot of our time together, however, will be spent doing other exercises that will get at the underlying patterns that aren’t gonna change just by me saying “Do this. Walk here. Stand here.” So it might not LOOK like what you think of as a public speaking session. And sometimes, yes, speaking in front of me, or a room full of imagined audience, will give you the chops you need to be 100% prepared when you give the talk. As for awkwardness—yeah, maybe, but if awkwardness usually means you’re learning something new, and that’s a good thing. We’ll also be sure to set things up to feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

I can write an amazing speech, but I can’t seem to deliver it for anybody except my cat/goldfish/mirror without feeling like a total moron. Should I give up on the idea of becoming a great speaker?

No way! Most people don’t realize that presence can be learned. Presence is the art of being fully present on many levels- emotionally, physically, and mentally. I WON’T make you become someone you’re not. I WILL help you learn how to be the most dynamic, engaging you.

The key to keeping others’ rapt attention is by fully inhabiting and exploring your voice and your body and in finding your full vocal and physical range. Putting attention and practice here translates to powerful speaking styles.

Now seriously: I wanna do this, but did you hear me say I’m really scared?

Yes, I heard you. It’s OK. I get it. I’m really good at dealing with fear. Because I was so afraid of speaking myself–and still am sometimes– I understand how to work with people who are afraid and anxious about speaking. Remember: “fear is excitement without the breath.” So let’s turn that fear into excitement. If you’re willing to stick with it, you can do this. Really.

This sounds so cool! I don’t have a speech scheduled, but I still wanna work with you. Is that OK?

Absolutely! Public speaking coaching isn’t just for when you have a speech to give, or when you have to speak in public, or give a presentation at work. This is also work for regular folks who want to express themselves more clearly in general, to speak with more authenticity and embodiment all the time: in any situation. And the benefits of public speaking coaching affect so many areas of your life, beyond your ability to speak. You’ll gain confidence, charisma, a feeling of liberation, and so much more.

Who do like to play with most?

I love working with people who have a message, but don’t know how to piece it all together. Or maybe you don’t even know you have a message yet. You have a sense that you want to bring more of yourself forward, but can’t get it from the inside to the outside. You want to be a big change-maker, but you’ve been held back because you’re afraid of speaking. You want to deliver with power — you just need some support and skills to get there. You do amazing work in the world — you just need help getting the word out.

Are you SURE there’s no pill that will make all the fear go away? … C’mon, what does it taste like?

No, sorry, there is no magic pill. But the work we do together will be so much better than any ole pill. It tastes like freedom and possibilities and truth and power. (And maybe chocolate.)

Interested in working together? Click here to set up a 30 minute Discovery session to get you set up with the next step in your speaking journey.