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How to Avoid Choking in a Public Performance

How to Avoid Choking in a Public Performance
Public Speaking, Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Personal Impact, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 129 Ratings :::: Monday, September 30, 2013

You are an expert in your field. The management is very impressed with your skills and wants you to share it with others. You have been asked to give a talk to your fellow colleagues or anyone else in the company who is interested in the subject.

The day of the presentation comes. Some of your colleagues have come from other branches of your organisation to attend your talk which is part of a series of presentations. You are excited to be a presenter as this is what you always wanted to do, but you are also feeling very nervous. You have the dreaded butterflies in stomach and cannot seem to be able to shake off the nerves.

The speaker before you has now finished and it is your turn to present. You just want to get on with it now. You go on stage and set yourself up. You start the presentation while paying attention to every detail. You want to make sure your voice comes out naturally, that you are facing the audience the right way, that you are saying the sentences correctly and that you are not forgetting anything crucial.

There is also a voice in your head that constantly says, “don’t screw this up, don’t mess this up, you have got only one chance…”

Two minutes into the presentation, you suddenly feel you cannot remember what you need to say next. It’s just gone. Your mind is blank. The audience is staring at you, expecting you to say something, but you cannot think of a single word to say. You feel out of breath, almost paralyzed.

You chocked…

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Team Building Exercise: Touch the Tennis Ball Once

Team Building Exercise: Touch the Tennis Ball Once
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 55 Ratings :::: Monday, July 29, 2013

This is a fantastic exercise in getting a group practice working together, coordinating their activities and learning to work more efficiently. Delegates must review their performance and think of better strategies in problem solving.

As an analogy this exercise can be thought of as a production team tasked to produce a gadget where the efficiency of the team leads to better production rates. The team must think of ways to improve the production rate and workflow. They must think of strategies that can be implemented easily in practice and improved on. The exercise requires teamwork, leadership, communication skills and the ability of each team to get the best from every individual.

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Active Listening Exercise: As Mark Just Said

Active Listening Exercise: As Mark Just Said
Exercises, Communication Skills, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills, Memory

Article Rating:::: 49 Ratings :::: Monday, July 22, 2013

Most people are not good listeners. This is even more pronounced when people get excited about sharing their own views or thoughts and like to express them and share them with others quickly. The problem is that in their excitement they miss what has just been said. Over time this can develop into a bad habit leading to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

This exercise is designed to help delegates practice listening to others and avoid jumping in before they have shown that they have understood what is shared. After a few tries, participants will quickly learn to listen carefully and will significantly improve their communication skills by understanding other people’s positions and avoid repeating what has already been stated.

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Active Listening Exercise: Listen Carefully and Contribute

Active Listening Exercise: Listen Carefully and Contribute
Exercises, Team Building, Attention and Focus, Listening Skills

Article Rating:::: 25 Ratings :::: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Active listening is a critical communication skill and it is important to know how to do it. This exercise has been designed in such a way that encourages delegates to pay their utmost attention while engaged in a conversation. The exercise forces delegates to stay focused throughout the activity and be ready to contribute when necessary.

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5 Useful Methods to Increase Attention and Focus

5 Useful Methods to Increase Attention and Focus
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Large Group, Attention and Focus, Memory

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Humans have evolved to focus their attention on what matters most. To navigate a complex environment, we have ended up with a kind of brain that vigorously filters out unnecessary information. This filtering mechanism is always active and is essential in managing information overload.

For example, after entering a new environment, you start to pay attention to different things to find what is interesting. You notice the unusual architecture, the odd furniture, the people, the smell and the feel of being in this new place.

If you come back to this environment the second time, you may not scan it as intensely as the first time since your brain “thinks” it already knows about it. Instead, your brain tries to focus on other things, freeing up the processing resources for whatever else you need to do with your brain.

This filtering has its great advantages as it allows us to navigate complex environments without feeling overwhelmed by them. Once we get used to a complex environment, we can start to concentrate on something more focused and demanding.

There is however a downside to this filtering. We are susceptible to miss the obvious even if it is right in front of us. Once familiar, the brain can become lazy in processing new information and attention is simply lost.

To remain focused it is essential to practice paying attention and consciously reverse the filtering process. Several methods are presented here that allow you as a trainer to increase the attention of your delegates especially if they are attending a multi-day course where they are returning to the same training environment.

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Magic Trick: Show off Your Telepathic Powers

Magic Trick: Show off Your Telepathic Powers
Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 34 Ratings :::: Monday, April 29, 2013

This exercise is ideal for teams with new additions to them. Sometimes it takes a while for teams to get used to their new members and the same is true for the new addition. Joining an already existing team of people can be intimidating. This exercise helps bringing all team members, old and new together by providing them with a shared experience.

Ask the delegates a question related to the content of the course that generates a number of options. Write these suggested options on a flipchart and number them from 1 to N. Next, state that you want to demonstrate your telepathic skills.

Expect disbelief…

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Memory Exercise: Recap on Lessons Covered So Far

Memory Exercise: Recap on Lessons Covered So Far
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Attention and Focus, Memory, Learning

Article Rating:::: 26 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This exercise helps to refresh delegates’ memory about what you just taught them. It encourages them to think about the training lessons covered so far and make a few statements about what they have learned. Specifically, it allows delegates to draw up a number of actions to do after the course to get more from the lessons.

Ideally you should run this exercise just before going to a tea or lunch break. It helps to summarise the points covered in the current lesson or all previous lessons (depending on your choice) and also acts as a closing exercise on a particular topic.

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Top 5 Training Myths

Top 5 Training Myths
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Attention and Focus, Learning

Article Rating:::: 700 Ratings :::: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It is easy to come across statements that sound scientific or logical. It is one thing to hear them; another to pass them on as a trainer. Unfortunately, over the years a few statements seem to have been repeated so many times in the training industry that people no longer question where they actually came from. These statements are no longer valid; they are simply accepted because they are heard from so many different sources. In short, people seem to be relying on social proof much more than rational proof.

Here, you will be introduced to a few common statements that are repeatedly shared in the training industry but with further scrutiny don’t live up to their promise.

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Team Building Exercise: You Can’t Touch My Palm

Team Building Exercise: You Can’t Touch My Palm
Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Large Group, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 26 Ratings :::: Monday, January 14, 2013

This is a fun activity that requires concentration and focus. It is ideal as a team building exercise or as an icebreaker to make people feel more comfortable with each other.

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Time Management Exercise: Monitor Your Perfectionism

Time Management Exercise: Monitor Your Perfectionism
Exercises, Productivity, Large Group, Goal Setting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 60 Ratings :::: Monday, February 20, 2012

This is a quick exercise that helps illustrate that we don’t need to be perfect all the time. Aiming for perfection can cost a lot of time and is often counter-productive. Research shows that majority of people who suffer from bad time management are perfectionist and their tendencies to produce everything at an unrealistically high-level of quality lead them to have a substandard quality of life and overall performance.

This exercise can help people understand that sometimes aiming for just a bit lower quality will still get them as far but can help them save a significant amount of time.

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