Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 41 - November 2008 - by Phil Chambers


Happy Halloween



TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (Average Reader), 1 minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 960. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

If you are not a subscriber to the newsletter click here and fill in your name and e-mail address at the top of the page.

Welcome to the November issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter, Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

This month: A Halloween Special on fear, the results of the World Memory Championships, plus our regular quote and Mind Mapping tip of the month.


Our Next Public Training Course in London, England

Dates: 22-23 November 2008
Numbers: Maximum of 10 delegates
Location: Provisionally, Imperial College, South Kensington, London
Timing: 9:30am - 5:00pm both days
Pricing: £300 + VAT including comprehensive full colour manual, top quality Mind Mapping pens, Mind Map pad and course follow up.
Instructor: Phil Chambers (World Mind Mapping Champion, Senior Buzan Licensed Instructor)



Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Take regular breaks to keep your recall high. We remember most from the beginning and end of any learning or working period. If you have three hour meetings without a break, as so many companies do, you will come out having almost completely forgotten what was discussed in the middle hour. If instead you work for no more than 45 minutes in one go you will remember more and be much more productive.

For more tips see '101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps'

November's Quote of the Month

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

• Franklin D. Roosevelt

More Quotes Here


World Memory Championships News

Congratulations go to Ben Pridmore who took the title from defending champion Dr Gunther Karsten in a very tight competition. Ben also beat his own record score with a total of 7908 championship points and the event saw five new World Records set. Full details can be found here.


Witches More Frightening?

“I don't wanna see a ghost. It's the sight that I fear most. I'd rather have a piece of toast. Watch the evening news”

This may be Des’ree’s greatest fear but for most people a more frightening prospect is having to stand up and speak to a room full of people.

Glossophobia as this fear is known, is as irrational as the fear of ghosts. It is an easy fear to overcome if you follow the right steps.

Here are my top four tips for confident communication:

1) Feel the fear and do it anyway (to quote Susan Jeffers).

If you are too relaxed you will probably not give your best performance. Butterflies in your stomach are okay as long as they are flying in formation! The key is not to let your fear escalate. This is what is currently happening in the global stock markets. Fear breads lack of confidence that leads to falls in the market, creating more fear and so on. You end up with a phobia spiraling out of control.

Have a positive attitude to the situation. The fact that you have been invited to speak means that at least the meeting planner thinks you have something valuable to say. Even if you’re laughed at, people enjoy laughing and you will be a hit with the audience!

2) Efficient Preparation

When giving a presentation the seven p’s are vital: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance (or Presentations).

Most people don’t have the time or tools to properly prepare. They either under-prepare, writing a few notes any trying to ‘wing it’. This undoubtedly leads to more nerves and hence worse delivery. At the other extreme is over-preparation, reading from a script. This loses all spontaneity and connection with the audience. A far better approach is to use a Mind Map to plan the preparation and a route memory system, associating the key items in your presentation to locations and objects around the room that you will be speaking in. (see previous newsletter here).

This approach ensures that you will have a well structured presentation that you can deliver from memory without the need for notes. You can also easily adapt it if something unexpected happens, like being asked to speak for a longer or shorter time than you expected.

3) Anchor a Resourceful State

If you still feel too nervous you can use an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique called anchoring. This links a physical trigger to a particular state of mind. If, for example, you touch your earlobe whenever you are feeling really confident, eventually touching your earlobe causes you to feel more confident. The state of mind has been anchored to the action. You can also trigger a state of mind through a visualisation (see previous newsletter here).


4) Review and Reflect

The final step, and probably the most important, is to reflect on and review the experience. What went well and what could be improved? Whenever possible ask for evaluations from the audience. A short questionnaire is all that you need. Make sure you focus on the positive as well as the negative comments. If you get 20 people saying they loved it and 5 saying they didn’t enjoy it, this is 80% success.

Next time you have to give a presentation and feel fearful, just remember the 4 steps above that spells out the word FEAR and you will be able to overcome it. I hope you enjoyed your Halloween and didn’t see any ghosts, even if you don’t fear them the most.


That's all for this month. If you have any comments or requests for future articles please feel free to contact me.

Best Wishes