How to Turn Your Business Presentation Butterflies into The Red Arrows

Posted on Jun 15

 As summer comes around, (although with the weather as  it is here in the UK at the moment it sometimes doesn’t feel like it!) there will be Summer Fairs and Air Shows scheduled where we will be able to see fantastic displays of formation flying by groups like The Red Arrows.

If you look on Wikipedia the definition of formation flying is the disciplined flight of two or more aircraft under the command of the leader, working together in a group to achieve a larger objective,moving in complete harmony.

What has this got to do with your butterflies? Well if you have ever had to stand up and speak in public, maybe when you were at school, or at a business meeting, or giving the eulogy at a funeral, or giving a best man’s speech, whatever the situation we often describe it as “having butterflies in the stomach” although at time it might feel like jumbo jets! The trick to dealing with them is to get them to fly in formation- to turn them into The Red Arrows formation flying team.  Because if you don’t have any way of dealing with them they can make you feel sick, sweat, stutter, dry up, feel  like you want to die!

So how do you get them to fly in formation?

 Well many people will tell you to just get on with it,that the more often you speak in public the easier it gets. That may be true ( it doesn’t always work for everybody) but at best it takes a long time with many occasions on the way of you just wanting to get it over and done with before bursting into tears or worse.

A number NLP tools and techniques can accelerate the whole process and I teach some of the more powerful ones in my workshops and to my personal clients and  there are some simple steps you can take to begin butterfly formation flying.

All behaviour is state dependent so we can change our behaviours by changing our emotional and physical state.

So the key is to manage your internal state and you can do this by thinking “as if”.

You can  begin to get your butterflies to fly like the Red Arrow Formation Team by practicing the following techniques:

  • Breathing in and out …. with a difference.

This technique is part of a process that I teach on all of my trainings, called F.L.O.W.

Just breathe normally and as you breathe in take your tongue up behind your top teeth and just push it gently against your soft palate. As you breathe out push your tongue gently behind your bottom teeth. Repeat several times.

  • Behave “as if”

Think of a time in the past when you were really confident, think of a specific time. And as you do so step into your body see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel those feelings of being totally confident.

Notice how you stand, where your breathing is in your chest- is it in your upper chest, middle or lower?

Notice the feelings of confidence,  notice where in your body they are situated.

Then practise “as if” by  recreating this state, changing your physiology until you can do it whenever the need arises.

….. because then you will have turned your butterflies into the Red Arrows!

Until next time,

with best wishes for your success,

Cath  :)

Cath Daley


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Posted on Jun 15 in Business Presentations, Communication skills, NLP, Presentation Skills

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