Imagine you’re speaking to the media, or about to present to your peers. Your breath gets shorter, your palms get sweatier, you feel like your stomach is performing a double pike an Olympic gymnast would be proud of.

If you’ve ever been to a ThinkBox communication or media training workshop, you’ll know we  normally kick off by talking about your biggest fears. We lay it all on the table so we know what we’re dealing with.

Without doubt the biggest concern people raise, is the fear of saying the wrong thing, or sounding like they have no idea. “What if they ask me what’s on page 43 of the 89 page report…what will I say”??? “What if they ask me just how many people aged 48 to 53 have had a Covid test in the past 32 hours, and I didn’t know about those extra 36 people who just walked in – it will be a disaster”!!

If you get too bogged down in the detail you think you need to know, you’ll probably forget the story you want to tell. That’s when the fear kicks in and you perceive the media interview as the massive hurdle standing between you and your happy workday.

I’m terrified of going to the dentist, completely beside myself irrationally terrified. I asked a dentist recently if he’d put me to sleep to get a scale and clean. I’m serious. You know what that dentist told me? Sure no problem we can do that, but before we do, let’s try to use some special tools and techniques I’ve developed over my long dentistry career, and see if it helps you to realise this isn’t as scary as you think.

I say the same to my clients. It’s totally ok to feel nervous about communicating with media, or public speaking in general. But, lets try to use some of the tools and techniques I’ve developed over years in the industry and see if it helps you realise it’s not as scary as you think.

Different dentistry work requires different calming techniques for me. If my scale and clean ever escalates to a  root canal, I’ll need heavy duty techniques to get through. But I’ll trust my dentist to provide them for me. The right tools for the right job.

Written by

She’s the secret weapon behind a number of highly acclaimed television broadcasts, a producer with more than 20 years’ experience.