speaking infront

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police shootings and public speaking?

What's the connection between shooting and speaking?. Well,  Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink, writes about the what happens to police officers in the USA under extreme stress. Tunnel vision, diminished sounds and the sense that time is slowing down. Under too much pressure "we get too aroused and past a certain point our bodies begin to shut down to many sources of information that we start to become useless"

After 145 heart beats per minute (bpm) complex motor skills begin to break down, after 175 bpm parts of the brain start shutting down, vision becomes restricted, we become clumsy, people even often fail to even dial 911 properly. Often people dial 411. So our thinking narrows.

Now in my public speaking workshops often people talk about blank minds and losing the ability to think clearly. Unlike being an American police officer this doesn't lead to the occasional wrongful shootings. Thank goodness.  But it can lead to very unpleasant feelings - the feeling of being overwhelmed, or not being able to cope. Learning the right skills around public speaking and understanding more of what is going on helps us to reduce the stress levels massively so that the brain is not under stress and it doesn't give us a blank mind when we most need to be fully resourced and functioning.