17 tips for facial expressions in speeches and presentations

17 tips for facial expressions in speeches and presentations

What public speakers should know about facial expressions
Facial expression

The importance of facial expressions in public speaking

 

When the topic of body language appears in presentation skills training, the question comes up “Where to put my hands while speaking?”

Mimic is discussed rarely, if at all, with the hint of having a smile on your face. This is a pity because facial expressions can support the message. When facial expressions aren’t right, they can cause damage. What does not fit the personality and role of the speaker is unintentionally funny, damages credibility, and distracts.

This article deals with what it is worth paying attention to as a speaker concerning facial expressions.

Body language, facial expressions, and public speaking

 

In addition to the content of the speech, as a verbal part, the way of presentation and the non-verbal behavior are of particular importance. These include gestures, eye contact, eye direction, body tension, leg posture, volume, intonation, and, often forgotten, pauses. Pauses before a message produce tension and after a message, they let the message work. In modern rhetoric, facial expressions have become less important than in the past. A facial expression that is too pronounced quickly has a theatrical and posed effect on the audience.

 

 

 

So facial expressions are no longer important?

 

Mimic is still important because public speakers who want to convince have to be authentic. And that includes lively facial expressions. Instead of orienting the facial expressions to Asian theatre masks or the pantomime from the pedestrian zone, Method-Acting delivers better results. If you mean what you say, this also includes the corresponding emotional states. If you experience inwardly with all your senses what you verbalize, then your face provides the appropriate facial expression anyway. At least as long as you haven’t stopped it with nerve poison against wrinkles.

Leave that deadpan expression to poker players and some politicians. A good presenter realizes that appropriate facial expressions are an important part of effective communication. Facial expressions are often the key determinant of the meaning behind the message. The audience is watching a speaker’s face during a presentation. When you speak, your face tells more clearly than any other part of your body about your attitudes, feelings, and emotions.

17 tips for facial expressions in your speeches and presentations

 

Your impact as a speaker depends heavily on your body language. You probably have control over the words you speak, are you sure you have control over what you say with your body language?

 

 

 

1. Authentic, authentic, authentic

 

Effective body language supports the message and conveys a strong image of the speaker. Anything that does not fit the personality and role of a public speaker and the message will unintentionally appear funny, damage credibility, and distract from content and message. Those who mean what they say can automatically display the appropriate facial expressions. This is a frequent topic in my presentation training. Few speakers know how they affect the audience. Professional analysis is very revealing here.

 

 

 

2. Smiling is contagious

 

Unfortunately, many people lose their lively facial expressions under the pressure of speaking in front of an audience. Their faces solidify into a mask. Free your face right at the beginning. For example, when you are welcoming the audience, smile!

With a smile or even a laugh, it is easier to build a bridge with other people. This looks open and friendly. A real smile comes from within and is based on the right mental attitude and not on a mask. Such a permanent grin looks different from a real smile, which is called a Duchenne smile. The Duchenne smile is named after Guillaume Duchenne, a French anatomist who studied many different expressions of emotion, focusing on the smile of pure enjoyment. He identified the facial movements that make this genuine smile different from artificial types of smiles. A Duchenne smile is a natural smile of enjoyment, made by contracting the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle. In my words; the mouth, the eyes, and the wrinkles around the eyes are involved, and smile, the cheeks lifting.

 

 

 

3. Emotions

 

It is the presenter’s connection to the words that can bring them to life for the audience. Experience inwardly intensively what you want to convey and the facial expressions will reflect it. Less is more! Please do not grimace.

 

 

 

4. Lead with your gaze

 

The audience will register where you’re looking. In this way, you can direct the attention of the audience with your gaze. Look where the audience should look.

And be careful with misunderstandings. If you keep looking at the door, it will look as if you would like to escape.

 

 

 

5. Eye contact is connecting

 

If they don’t fit, they can undermine any of your words.

Good speakers know how important facial expressions are. Effective presenters engage one person at a time, focusing long enough to complete a natural phrase and watch it sink in for a moment. With a smile, they convey appreciation to the audience.

Keep looking at all faces, be attentive. Return a smile. Use clues such as a frown as an occasion to repeat or inquire about a statement in other words.

 

 

 

6. Pulling up the corners of your mouth on one side

 

Some facial expressions can irritate. One-sided lifting of the corners of the mouth can be interpreted as a sign of superiority and the speaker is then accused of arrogance or cynicism.

 

 

 

7. Enduring smile

 

A permanent smile seems artificial, complacent, or even debilitating. Speakers don’t do themselves any favors.

Such behavior is reminiscent of bad show presenters or used car salesmen from US films. If you smile without a break, you make your counterpart suspicious. Beware of bad facial expressions, i.e. a superimposed smile.

If there are moments during your speech when you want to make the audience think, then that doesn’t fit. When you put on an artificial smile, nobody takes you seriously.

 

 

 

8. A tense jaw

 

Someone who presses their teeth vigorously against each other may look angry and aggressive or at least cramped.

 

 

 

9. Smiling and showing teeth

 

What is more common in the USA is irritating in Germany, for example, than piranha smiles. Superficiality and an unfair sales mentality are easily assumed.

 

 

 

10. Grasping the nose or the mouth

 

Do not touch your nose, mouth, or chin during your speech. This is a classic sign of insecurity and is quickly perceived as negative by your audience.

Since Pinocchio this has been considered a sign of lies and why should you voluntarily sow doubt?

 

 

 

11. Other delicate facial expressions

 

In my articles, body language soothes or harms in delicate situations and 12 tips on how to promote confidence through body language you will find advice on how body language can help and how it can hurt.

 

 

 

12. Adapt your facial expressions to the size of the group.

 

As your audience grows, your facial expressions should become more pronounced. If the audience in the last row is not able to read your face, your facial expression will be perceived as a neutral expression and thus as your lack of interest.

 

 

 

13. Explore the effect of facial expressions

 

The facial expression usually has a small part in the presentation, which is why its role tends to be underestimated. It plays an important role in convincing the speaker and the message. It is worth exploring the impact.

 

Using all the various muscles that precisely control the mouth, lips, eyes, nose, forehead, and jaw, the human face is estimated to be capable of more than 10,000 different expressions. Explore different ways to use facial expressions. Start with the most common facial expressions and emotions.

There are seven universally recognized emotions shown through facial expressions:

  • anger
  • disgust
  • contempt
  • fear
  • happiness
  • sadness
  • surprise

 

Regardless of culture, these expressions are the same all over the world. They may differ in intensity.

 

 

 

14. Observe your audience

 

Just as your facial expressions provide insight into your emotions, your audience’s facial expressions provide insight into their emotional world.

Read the facial expressions of your audience. If the audience’s expressions are expressionless, for example, there is a possibility that they are intellectually elsewhere because they are bored. Or their facial expressions convey joy and excitement or they are eagerly receptive or…

By reading your audience’s facial expressions, you are better able to make spontaneous decisions and adjustments to capture attention.

 

 

 

15. Using a lectern or manuscript

 

Wherever your speech manuscript is located, whether as a pile of paper on the lectern or as key point cards in your hand, always avoid looking at the notes all the time. Learn from me how to keep in touch with the audience.

 

 

 

16. Practice, practice, practice

 

As with any presentation skill, facial expression requires practice to develop it to be both authentic and effective. Presenters who care deeply about their message tend to use their entire bodies to support the message.

Practice your presentation and the things you have experienced with me in front of a mirror to concentrate exclusively on your facial expressions during a rehearsal. While practicing in front of the mirror, see if your facial expressions convey the mood you want to create. If your face isn’t showing any emotion, stop, refocus, and do it again. This will help you to explore your expression playfully. The best way to do this is with professional support.

 

 

 

17. Support

 

As a professional speech coach, I will not practice masks with you but will point out potential misunderstandings and promote corresponding situations from within.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.

Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What do you pay attention to in facial expressions during conversations, speeches, and presentations?

Presenters who care deeply about their message tend to use their entire bodies to support the message. - Karsten Noack

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 27, 2019
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 6, 2021
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#124710

One side of character is integrity

One Side of Character is Integrity

Personality and decision making

One side of character is integrity.
Integrity is being consistent in thoughts, words, and actions.

 

One Side of Character is Integrity

Overview

 

 

 

Definition: Character and Integrity

 

The definitions of these two words are often stretched or misrepresented.

 

 

Character

 

The character is the sum of qualities shown up in a person or group, moral or ethical strength, and the description of a person’s attributes, traits, and abilities. The character is who you are. It defines you and guides your actions, hopefully in a positive way.

 

 

Integrity

 

Having integrity means that you live in accordance with your deepest values; you’re honest, and you always keep your word.

Integrity is steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, being unimpaired, sound, whole and undivided. C. S. Lewis meant; integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

 

So what?

 

When we live our lives with integrity, it means that we’re honest, and we let our actions speak for who we are and what we believe in. Integrity is a choice we make, and it’s a choice we must keep making, every moment of our lives.

People with integrity often have the same characteristics in common: they’re humble, they have a strong sense of self, they have high self-esteem, and they’re self-confident. These characteristics are important, because, sometimes, you’ll be under intense pressure from others to make the wrong choice.

To develop and protect your integrity, start by identifying your core values. These are the values that you refuse to compromise on, no matter what. Next, analyze every choice you make to ensure that you’re doing the right thing.

P.S.

 

What do you think about integrity?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 14, 2019
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#1890

Are impatience and laziness cardinal sins?

Are Impatience and Laziness Cardinal Sins?

What do you think?

 

Impatience and Laziness

There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and laziness.

Franz Kafka

 

 

 

Do you agree?

 

In my mind, it isn’t that bad. Laziness is a quality by which the brain prevents a lot of energy which can otherwise be wasted in doing the unimportant tasks. Impatience, on the other hand, is a state in which the brain doesn’t want to wait for the actions and results. Therefore, the two can’t be related directly. However, one may say that laziness would consume the time which otherwise might have been used to do some productive work.

What do you think? Do you think that impatience and laziness are sins? Or do you see the good intent?

Help, am I a narcissist? 8 indications that you are not a narcissist

Help, am I a narcissist? 8 indications that you are not a narcissist

Narcissists

Are you a narcissist?

 

Do you wonder if you are a narcissist yourself? Here are 8 indications that you are not a narcissist.

 

Help, am I a narcissist?

 

Those who have suffered from narcissists and have become aware of the issue tend to have additional concerns. Often the question gnaws at them whether they are narcissists themselves.

This is very common when one parent has strong narcissistic tendencies. In principle, the worry is a good sign, because narcissists do not see this as a problem.

 

 

Indications that you are not a narcissist

 

Probably everyone has qualities in themselves that suit narcissists. Quantity and combination cause toxicity.

Here in a nutshell a few hints that you are not a narcissist:

 

 

 

1. Friends

 

You have honest friends. Your friends may also give you uncomfortable feedback without being removed from your contact list. Narcissists have admirers around them at best.

 

 

 

2. You listen

 

You listen because you care about other people and their needs.

 

 

 

3. Authenticity

 

You are authentic. Narcissists deceive and masquerade when it matters. As trained manipulators, narcissists know how to get their environment to do what they want.

 

 

 

4. You do like people

 

You know, there are also other people who are an enrichment for the world.

 

 

5. You can ask for help

 

You ask other people for help when needed and you let yourself be supported. Narcissists have the wisdom for themselves and accept only stooges and no experts.

 

 

 

6. Benevolence and the ability to enjoy the happiness of other people

 

You can be happy for other people. Narcissists are jealous when other people achieve or possess something that, from their point of view, only they themselves are entitled to.

 

 

 

7. the ability to accept criticism

 

You are willing to admit your mistakes and to apologize honestly. Narcissists do not allow their flawless self to get a dent.

 

 

 

8. Eye-level

 

You meet other people at eye level and can delegate responsibility if necessary. The ability to act as a team player is a clear indication not to have too dominant narcissistic tendencies.

Still no all-clear, tangible relief?

 

Individual criteria that belong to the overall picture of a narcissist can be found in many people. Narcissists, under whom people suffer, usually fulfill a variety or even almost all criteria.

Are you honestly worried about being a narcissist? Then it is highly likely that you aren’t!

Read 36 tips for identifying narcissists and 30 tips for communicating with narcissists. If you want help in dealing with narcissists, you can find more information here.

Help in dealing with narcissists (no legal advice!)

 

If you wish professional support for your decision-making, communication, or because you suffer emotionally from narcissists, then we can arrange an appointment.

Either you come to me in Berlin or we organize a telephone meeting or use the Internet with a video conferencing system. All these possibilities work very well and have already helped many people.

It's urgent? Thanks to an immediate bank transfer, it is also possible to organize sessions at short notice, often even on the same day.

In any case, you can orient yourself by reading the list with fees. Often a telephone call of 60 minutes is enough.

Every day, I get many inquiries. Some have only one question, others send long question lists, some even call me at night. As much as I would like to help voluntarily, my calendar doesn't allow that anymore. I know, that not everyone has the financial means for professional help. You can then at least use the comment function to discuss issues with other people. Sometimes I also answer questions in the comments. However, the day is full at some point and I ask for your understanding. I am aware of the psychological strain that often results from contact with narcissists.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What experiences do have you with narcissists? Do you found signs to have elements of a narcissist?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: January 2, 2012
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 25, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
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#339

More contentment through self-acceptance or does that reduce the motivation?

More contentment through self-acceptance or does that reduce the motivation?

Accepting oneself as the key to happiness and personal development
self-acceptance

Does self-acceptance reduce motivation?

 

Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we truly are. And we stimulate personal development this way.

More contentment through self-acceptance

 

Psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire conducted 2014 a survey. 5,000 people were asked to rate themselves on the 10 habits identified in a study as keys to happiness.

 

 

 

10 keys to a happier life

 

As the 10 keys to a happier life are named in the Study (external Link).

Giving: Doing something for other people
Relating: Connecting with others
Exercising: Moving the body and taking good care of it
Awareness: Living consciously
Trying out: Trying and learning new things
Direction: Setting appealing goals
Resilience: Getting on your feet with inner strength
Emotions: Figure out what’s good for you
Acceptance: Accepting oneself
Meaning: Being part of something larger

Together, the ten keys of happiness result in the acronym GREAT DREAM.

 

 

 

What’s missing? Self-acceptance!

 

The most interesting result of the study: The participants’ self-assessment was largely positive. The only habit that many people failed on was self-acceptance. Almost half of the participants rated themselves on a 10-point scale with 5 or less.

 

 

 

Causes

 

In our culture, there is enormous pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes dissatisfaction and fear. It is intended to motivate us to perform better.

 

 

 

How can we learn from that insight?

 

Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we are. The fear of losing motivation through self-acceptance is not only unjustified, but the opposite is true. Self-acceptance also makes it easier for us to evolve naturally.

The insecurity and pressure resulting from comparisons and lack of self-acceptance hinder personal development. Exactly the opposite is achieved through pressure. Positively formulated: practicing self-acceptance removes obstacles so that personal development is easier to achieve. It is worth paying attention to self-acceptance.

 

 

 

Practicing self-acceptance

 

It is important to treat ourselves as benevolently as we treat other people. This also includes considering one’s own mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Those who tend to be overly critical of themselves should practice recognizing and appreciating their strengths.

To be at peace with yourself, it helps to take time to get to know and like yourself.

If you constantly compare yourself with other people, it is easy to underestimate your possibilities and characteristics. Each one of us is unique. However, what we take for granted, we easily overlook and underestimate.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? What is your attitude towards yourself and self-acceptance?

Future: That time when our business is doing well, our friends are loyal and our happiness is secured. Ambrose Bierce

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 29, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 29, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
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T: RR
#452

Aphantasia: Living without mental images.

Aphantasia: Living without mental images.

The lack of visual imagination
Fears and anxiety

Aphantasia

 

Most people consider it normal to be able to visualize. But a small percentage of humanity does not have this ability. We call this Aphantasia. This is what this article is about.

Anyone can visualize, right?

 

It’s hard to imagine that not everyone can visualize. But for some people it is not possible: counting sheep in front of the mind’s eye, imagining the plot of a novel or the face of a friend. The lack of visual imagination is called Aphantasia.

Aphantasia is innate for a small part of the population. It was described in 1880 by Sir Francis Falton. The neurologist Adam Zeman of the University Exeter Media School has scientifically confirmed this assumption and published details in a study.

 

 

 

Consequences of the Aphantasia

 

For those affected, this has a significant impact on their lives, as they are not able to visualize situations from their memory. For them, jobs in architecture or design are difficult. All tasks that require imagining the result in advance require hallucinating with open eyes, so to speak. Many creative fields require visual imagination. However, there are possibilities here as well. I know people with Aphantasia who are very creative in visual design.

It is possible to live without inner images, but how far-reaching the absence is, is shown by the fact that many affected people get interpersonal problems because of their deficit. Affected people themselves only notice in contact with other people that they are blind on the inner eye. There are certain similarities with people who suffer from red-green color blindness.

 

 

 

Rays of hope

 

In dreams and hypnotic trance, it is easier for many people to visualize. In dreams and with a little practice thanks to hypnotic trance even people with Aphantasia can do it, even if they think they can’t do it in everyday life. In sessions using trance I regularly get feedback from clients that they experienced images on the inner canvas.

 

 

 

Causes of Aphantasia

 

The causes of the Aphantasia are not yet clear. Probably the areas in the brain responsible for visual imagination are not working together.

 

 

 

Advantages of the ability to visualize

 

When planning, solving problems, learning, and exams, … In so many situations, a visual image is very useful. In many articles, I enthusiastically praise the possibilities of using visual imagination.

For those who find it commonplace to imagine things, people, and situations visually, it is hard to understand the value of this ability.

 

 

 

What to do?

 

As helpful as it is to imagine things, people and situations visually, we humans have other senses for the design of thoughts.

We humans have five senses available. And so people are also blessed with different accesses to these senses. We can explore the world visually, kinesthetically, auditory, gustatory, and olfactory. This way we can resurrect the world in our minds. We use the five senses seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling differently. So it is worthwhile on the one hand to promote potential and on the other hand to focus on the strengths. And we do this automatically. The choice of career shows this. If we are successful in one area, then the necessary senses are obviously at work.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? How about your visual imagination?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 20, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 27, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/aphantasie/
K:
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T: RR
#452

Good fear, bad fear

Good fear, bad fear

How to free yourself from limiting fears.
Fears and anxiety

Good fear vs. bad fear

 

Fears are unpleasant obstacles on the way to a fulfilling life. This article is about what fears and anxiety good for and how to let go of limiting fears.

Good fear, bad fear

 

There are some obstacles on the journey to a fulfilling life to master, again and again, and again. Many of these obstacles have to do with fear.

 

 

 

Personal development

 

Fears have a huge impact on our lives. Fear reduces the joy of exploration, play, imitation, and creativity, causes stress, alters the personality. And I am writing here about the fears that many of us know.

 

 

 

Everyday fears and other anxieties

 

Some things in life are uncertain. We win something, we lose something. Not everything in life evolves as planned and sometimes it gets harder. That’s when worries can take on serious forms.

Many people are afraid of something. Many things can frighten us humans. Some fear is justified, others unjustified or at least exaggerated;

  • the fear of being judged by other people
  • the fear of being alone, of exam situations, speaking in front of an audience
  • the pressure to perform

Fear rarely makes it better.

Fear makes life more difficult. For example our decision-making.

Decisions also have consequences and this can be a burden, can cause anxiety. Fear stands in the way of making clever decisions. Paralyzed by fear, the scope for creativity is not explored and used. Important conversations are avoided out of fear, or they are painful.

Often relationships are only maintained out of fear of being alone. Many stay in the job because they worry about not finding a more suitable one and finally dare to approach to their calling. Many challenges and therefore chances remain unexploited because of fear.

Often the fears are unjustified or at least disproportionate, and yet they slow us down, distract us, or even paralyze us. Many of them have the characteristics of demons, which on closer inspection turn out to be projections. And even if they turn out to be substantiated, it is usually better to align and design resources accordingly than to ignore them.

In the case of phobias it becomes very obvious; avoidance makes the fear grow. There and elsewhere, avoiding unpleasant issues does not solve them, the problem just gets bigger.

How about the purpose of fear?

 

What is fear good for?

 

1. Fear is supposed to protect us

 

Hardly any human emotion has such a bad reputation as fear. People are even afraid of fear.

Fear has a vital function, it is an alarm reaction that should protect us when there is a threat. It is designed to prompt us to flee, to fight, or to exercise extreme caution.

The fear reactions are partly based on innate reflexes and some are learned. Both acute fear and worries about future events that might threaten our existence can be helpful. In the right dosage, it stimulates us to take action. But when fear prevails, it blocks us until we are paralyzed.

 

 

 

2. Anxiety promotes peak performance

 

Fear can unleash incredible powers. For a short time, the body is ready to perform at its best when anxious. Usually, this lasts as long as the dangerous situation lasts. However, increased physical abilities are not as helpful in many situations today as they were in our ancestor’s situation. Unfortunately, our cognitive abilities largely take a break in the meantime.

 

 

 

3. Physical reactions

 

When we are anxious, we notice above all the accompanying symptoms; trembling, wet hands, palpitations, rapid breathing up to shortness of breath, dry mouth, altered facial expressions, paleness or blushing, sweating, trembling, weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, urge to urinate and nausea as well as altered, limited perception up to a blackout.

Fear is a primitive system. This fear reaction is supposed to protect us from danger and the physical reactions that accompany it are natural. This is also the case when fear and anxiety are learned reactions to an unpleasant experience. Then the strong aversion to possible risks should protect against having that negative experiences again. However, too much fear restricts the ability to act appropriately.

Where does fear come from?

 

The fear response starts in a region of the brain called the amygdala. But how and why did the human species developed that mechanism?

In human history, our species once was a source of food, our ancestors were in danger of being eaten. You and me, we are descended from those who were more careful. The ancestors who were not afraid did not reproduce so often because they were eaten in those times. This has probably left patterns during evolution. Parts of our brains have not yet adjusted to the changing world.

In our somewhat more civilized world, existential threats are usually of a different nature.

Nowadays, only a few people are consumed by hungry wild animals. But our brain still evaluates situations according to old criteria and triggers primal physical reactions. Today this no longer happens in the wild, but for example in meeting rooms and in front of an audience. It is still frightening to leave the supposedly safe center of the herd. The so often praised individuality usually aims at maintaining the security of belonging to a group. On the periphery and outside the herd we feel threatened.

A stage is not a battleground, but if the reptilian brain believes that the audience might be dangerous, you may experience severe stage fright.

Here, and in many other situations, fear no longer helps us directly to save our lives. In the best case, fear leads to an activation, like a cup of espresso. If the fear increases to a restrictive blockage or even takes on pathological forms, then it is harmful.

We get used to some fears through repetition and to others we do not. Fears are not pleasant, apart from the thrill of a horror story, a roller coaster ride, or extreme sports.

Overcome fears

 

To overcome limiting fears is worthwhile even with mild forms. Fears haunt many people into their sleep and lead to nightmares, which in turn leave traces. Here, as in other areas, unreasonable fears unnecessarily reduce the quality of life. Such ballast works under the surface, it influences perception, thinking, and acting and should be discarded.

 

 

 

Get help with fears and anxieties

 

Fear and anxieties have many forms, manifestations, effects. Each form requires different steps. While stage fright, for example, can still be handled and solved by yourself or in coaching, real public speaking anxiety or glossophobia requires competent psychotherapy. Public speaking anxiety is considered a social anxiety disorder.

Given an appropriately experienced therapist, anxiety disorders can also be treated very well, improvement, and finally resolving them will be achieved soon. However, some fears do not require psychotherapy because they are not considered pathological. These are the anxieties that are not found in the ICD-10. ICD-10 is the abbreviation for the 10th version of the International Classification of Diseases. Whether anxieties are pathological, is not always so clear. Good coaches know when to recommend an expert. By the way, for 20 years I have been helping people affected by anxiety disorders as a therapist with permission to practice psychotherapy two days a week. Yes, fear has many forms.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”, said John Wayne. So, face your demons and you will support your personal development. Ask for support.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

What fears are preventing you from doing something that is actually important to you?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 20, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 25, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#4521

The strength of character and how to cultivate it. 20 factors

The strength of character and how to cultivate it. 20 factors

Stand up for your own personality. This is how you foster strength of character. That's part of it...
Hints for strength of character

What is part of the strength of character?

 

Do you stand up for yourself and your concerns, are you true to your values even when there is a headwind? This article is about 20 elements of character strength and how to cultivate them.

Character and strength of character

 

The character describes a person, shows how someone actually is. The character influences significantly how a person is perceived by others.

If a person is considered to have the strength of character, this is meant admiringly. It is about the number of positive character traits, especially the moral attitude.

Those who do not disappear uniformly in the masses attract attention and may encounter resistance. Some people are frightened by this. What about you?

Do you stand up for yourself and your concerns, are you committed to your values, even when there is resistance? Those who cultivate strength of character are more successful and live a more fulfilling, self-determined life.

What are the building blocks of character strength and how can we cultivate it?

20 factors: What is part of the strength of character?

 

Here are 20 factors that contribute to the strength of character.

1. Curiosity

 

Healthy curiosity, in the sense of being interested, is a daily motivator that keeps us active and therefore more agile. The desire for knowledge is physically and mentally demanding, makes us more sociable and happier. Without curiosity as a drive, there is no learning, no wisdom.

 

 

 

2. An own opinion

 

Not all of us allow ourselves our own opinion, even fewer people are prepared to stand for their own opinion with self-confidence. Insecure people tend to assimilate in order not to attract negative attention. The fear of rejection and conflicts slows down or paralyzes some people, they are hiding themselves and their opinions.

 

 

 

3. Courage

 

People of weak character are fickle, orienting themselves to the least resistance. They give way at the slightest pressure and prefer to bend rather than bite.

If necessary, personalities with strong character dare to take a bold stand-point for something. They are also not afraid to lead the way, to venture out of the anonymous mass and the comfort zone.

 

 

 

4. Knowing the own strengths

 

It helps us to be aware of our strengths in a healthy way. Those who know their strengths can cultivate them and use them more effectively.

 

 

 

5. Knowing the own weaknesses

 

Knowing your weaknesses enables you to make better decisions. The willingness to dedicate oneself to personal development and, if necessary, to make peace with the fact that something cannot be turned into a strength despite all the effort involved, helps.

 

 

 

6. Loyalty

 

Loyalty requires personality. Loyalty means faithfulness and reliability. It is expressed towards spouses, friends, family, employers, etc.
Loyalty may also require you to put your interests aside for the benefit of others.

People of strong character know their values and priorities and pay attention to ethical behavior. They are also prepared to tread uncomfortable paths.

 

 

 

7. Honesty

 

Honesty and sincerity are important virtues. With honesty, we combine reliability, commitment, and openness. To be truthful about what is said, even when it is uncomfortable, requires strength of character.

 

 

 

8. Willingness to take responsibility

 

The willingness to take responsibility also includes admitting mistakes. People with strong minds take full responsibility for their actions and learn from the feedback instead of trying to use excuses. This sometimes includes the willingness and ability to apologize when it is time to do so.

 

 

 

9. Patience

 

Constructive patience is an important quality of a strong personality. This includes the willingness to remain true to oneself despite short-term rewards and temptations. Only this way it is to master greater challenges.

10. To know our priorities and values

 

People of strong character know their priorities and remain true to themselves and their values. I know from most people of strong character that they deal with philosophical issues. They wouldn’t call it that personally, but they are dedicated to higher goals and visions. This has a very strengthening effect on the personality.

 

 

 

11. Willingness to stand up for other people

 

The willingness to stand up for other people, even if it involves personal disadvantages, requires strength. Promises can be made, but doing it is not so common.

 

 

 

12. Self-reflection

 

Self-reflection paves the way for personal development where other people obstruct themselves. Self-reflection fosters learning and good decisions. Those who know themselves well are much harder to manipulate and live their own lives. This frees and activates potential.

 

 

 

13. Be at peace with oneself

 

Bruises, unprocessed traumas, and limiting beliefs make us more vulnerable to manipulation. Those who are occupied with themselves unnecessarily are distracted. Being mentally tidy promotes focus, more resources are available for important tasks.

Being at peace with oneself makes life easier; thinking and acting are congruent. Actions arise from their own decisions, which in turn are based on their values. Decisions are not externally controlled or based on deficits.

 

 

 

14. Not having to prove anything

 

Having nothing to prove is so liberating. Where some dazzlers loudly offer more illusion than reality, the personalities of strong characters do not have to prove anything. Another reason why people of strong character can be more authentic and relaxed.

 

 

 

15. Focus

 

Those who are engaged everywhere hardly get anywhere and sooner or later become tired. Some tasks deserve to be given the appropriate attention. This requires priorities and focus.

 

 

 

16. Being present

 

Being in the present sounds easier than it is sometimes. Some people prefer to reminisce about the highlights of the past. Others dream of a distant paradise-like future instead of working on it. There is not much to recognize of attentive contact with other people.

 

 

 

17. Benevolence

 

Strong people can wish other people good luck and treat them well. Strong personalities are not afraid of other people achieving something.

Weak ones are often afraid that other people’s successes will set them back themselves. This is particularly evident with narcissists.

 

 

 

18. Keep pushing

 

Setbacks or even traumatic experiences can be painful. They can leave behind serious injuries and break people. However, they can also promote immense personal growth.

Strong people are resilient and take setbacks as feedback. They learn from it and start again. Each experience is a chance to get closer to their goal.

 

 

 

19. Indulgence

 

To stand firm for oneself and one’s convictions are compatible with considering other points of view, exchanging views respectfully, complementing one another, learning. People of strong character are self-confident and this allows benevolence towards other people, while insecure people try to protect themselves and their position through ignorance. People make mistakes and it is good to forgive oneself and others for that.

 

 

 

20. Creating instead of being a victim

 

It requires strength of character to continue upright even in strong headwinds. People who are focused on the possibilities remain more constructive than those who consider themselves victims of the circumstances.

How can character strength be cultivated?

 

The mentioned character traits provide the direction. In coaching, I take a closer look at the status and goals of my clients. This is often very personal when personal development is meant seriously. Then we proceed step by step, mentally and concretely. The strength of character can be cultivated in many ways. The important thing is to live character strength.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Do you pay attention to your strength of character? Do you stand up for yourself and others, your values, and your concerns, even when there is a strong headwind? How authentically do you act?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 19, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 19, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://ww.karstennoack.de/persoenlichkeit-mut-charakterstaerke-coaching
K:
H:
T: RR
#452

You want to avoid criticism?

You Want to Avoid Criticism?

Use feedback instead avoiding it
You Want to Avoid Criticism?

The value of criticism

 

Is it really a good idea to avoid criticism at all costs? Could criticism have value?

There is no real way to avoid criticism

 

To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing

Aristotle

 

Aristotle is correct; if you try to hide away to avoid criticism you won’t get anywhere. However, a typical attempt to avoid criticism is not to be seen and heard – flying under the radar. But even by hiding, you could still face criticism.

A fulfilled life is not about avoiding criticism. Criticism can also be a good sign. There is some evidence that if you don’t meet any critics in your way, you are probably not going in the right direction. On well-trodden paths …

You have enemies?
Good.
That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

Winston Churchill

 

It’s better to have honest criticism than to give or receive false praise. At least you know where you stand!

 

 

 

Criticism is seldom pleasant

 

Better honest criticism than false praise! At least we know where we stand.

Criticism is usually bitter and hard to swallow. This also applies to constructive criticism, but it at least gets us ahead, it makes us better. Such kind of criticism – in the sense of feedback – should not only be welcome but even encouraged.

Some criticism is also not meant as a source of joy. There are more or less friendly people who have an innate or instilled tendency to concentrate solely on sore points and decompose ideas. They can be very harsh and do not promote motivation. The reasons are different and often of a personal nature, why you don’t want to find anything good in your idea. Often there are conflicts of interest that are not openly mentioned.

And there are these insensitive people with the urge to be ruthless. Some people don’t give a damn as long as they can destroy something. You can’t please them anyway, whatever you say or do. You better not let such people slow you down.

Instead of avoiding criticism, like the devil the holy water, take it rather as what it is; an additional perspective, the point of view of another person. No more and no less!

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations

 

Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

Do you avoid doing things that meet with critism?

To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Aristotle

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: April 7, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/sie-wollen-kritik-vermeiden/
K:
H:
T: RR
#234

The importance of showing appreciation: 10 good reasons to show appreciation

The Importance of Showing Appreciation: 10 Good Reasons To Show Appreciation

Why appreciation matters so much.
The Importance of Appreciation

Showing appreciation to other people

 

We all need to know that we’re important in other people’s lives. Humans need to be noticed and valued — in private and business life. Why do I believe that it is so important to show appreciation? Because…

The Importance of Appreciation

Why appreciation matters so much

 

At least in Germany, the term “appreciation” degenerates into a buzzword; today it is used inflationary and is seldom meant honestly. Although appreciation is often confused with praise and recognition for achievements, real appreciation goes much further. It regards colleagues as human beings who are valuable because of their abilities, personality, and uniqueness. Regardless of their position in the company, each employee has enormous potential in different areas.

Respect, recognition, and benevolence are a part of how we show appreciation. Appreciation is characterized by interest, attention, devotion, and friendliness.

Appreciation is a fundamental human need in both professional and private life. We want to be appreciated by what we are, what we do, and what we achieve. We all need to know that we’re important in other people’s lives. And we need to feel that we are appreciated — in private in business life. It doesn’t matter whether your office is a boardroom, classroom, or anywhere else. We all want to be noticed and valued. Appreciation is at the core of all healthy relationships. Most of us feel like we don’t get enough appreciation. Did you know that one of the main reasons people leave their jobs is because of a lack of appreciation? It’s demoralizing when you’re not recognized for your efforts and skills. There are a lot of people who do things for you every day. Employees, colleagues, family, and friends are expected to do their part. Do they know that you appreciate them? Let others know that you appreciate them.

Why do I believe that it is so important to show appreciation? Because…

Appreciation is powerful. 10 good reasons to show appreciation

 

Appreciation is the act of giving something or someone their proper value, and everybody has value. The value in a relationship is important because it lets a person know where they stand, and what they mean to you; appreciation is a way of letting that person know what you value. There are plenty of powerful benefits to the recipient and giver as well. Here are a few examples.

Apply appreciation to your relationships in business and private life and you will…

 

1. … make other people happy.

 

Appreciation is a fundamental human need in both professional and private life. We want to be appreciated by what we are, what we do, and what we achieve.

 

 

 

2. … make yourself happy.

 

When you express your appreciation for someone, you will not only improve their lives but yours as well. You will feel more fulfilled because you have done something to make someone else’s life better. It will change your mindset. Our mood and daily outlooks change when we focus on positive things rather than negative.

 

 

 

3. … boost moral.

 

Appreciation boots moral. It has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after a goal has been met, when it comes from peers, and when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.

 

 

 

4. … motivate others.

 

One of the easiest and most effective ways to motivate others is by appreciating them. When you praise or appreciate someone, it indicates that you have recognized their effort. It may encourage them to go the extra mile. Giving recognition inspires greatness in others.

 

 

 

5. … build trust in relationships.

 

Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage. Those who express appreciation with others are more committed to them and more likely to stay in the relationship.

 

 

 

6. … show respect.

 

Respect is an essential ingredient for healthy relationships.

 

 

 

7. … deepen your relationships.

 

When you look for the good instead of the bad in the surrounding people, you begin to notice just how interesting they are. You will engage at a higher level. It will accelerate the relationship-building process and enhance their overall impression of you.

 

 

 

8. … see more clearly what counts.

 

Your focus change and will be more positive.

 

 

 

9. … see more innovative results.

 

Employees who recognize their team members experience a huge increase in innovation.

 

 

 

10. … increase your effectiveness.

 

Giving appreciation has a direct impact on results. For example; employees who give or get appreciation experience a huge increase in work results.

 

 

 

How?

 

Go ahead and thank someone for something they’ve done for you. It costs you so little, but it might mean the world to the other person.

Survey results

 

Do you feel appreciated by your employer?

%

Rare to never

%

Just enough

%

Often

Result of a non-representative survey on www.karstennoack.de and among participants attending events of NOACK Training & Coaching Berlin (n= 633)

Appreciation within the company I work for is…

%

rarely meant seriously.

%

usually meant seriously.

Result of a non-representative survey on www.karstennoack.de and among participants attending events of NOACK Training & Coaching Berlin (n= 645)

What can a company do to value its employees?

 

Companies that are serious about appreciation should consistently live the values they share. Unfortunately, this is rather the exception! All the more gratifying that some of my clients are willing to take this step. All too often, it’s all about declarations of intent.

What can each individual employee contribute?

 

Each of us can open our mouths, express ourselves in an appropriate way, and show appreciation to others. By the way, even superiors are still human beings. We cannot say “Thank you!” often enough. It costs so little and brings so much.

And how can I express to my colleagues that I appreciate them?

 

Speak out what is valued about each other. Small gifts maintain friendship; whether verbal or quietly sometimes symbolically tangible. Even an honestly meant smile can speak volumes. And undivided attention, as natural as it should be and yet is not, is also a precious commodity.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations

 

Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally

 

Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.

P.S.

 

How about taking the time to appreciate someone today? And do you know how to appreciate yourself?

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 15, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/wertschaetzung-unternehmen/
K:
H:
T: RR
#1652282

error: Copyright