I had to chuckle when I read a study that
showed that fear disapates when we are hugged. I mean really, didn't we already
know that. Every parent learns instintively that a scared child can be calmed
down with a good loving hug. And yet I do keep learning more about the power
of a hug all the time. Let me tell you a little story....
I was the MC
at a friends wedding. During the wedding ceremony I could not help but notice
that the Maid of Honor looked distressed. After the ceremony was over I took
her aside and asked if everything was ok? She told me she was freaked out
about giving the toast to the bride. She really surprised me since she isn't
the bashful type. But she told me that just thinking about standing up and
having all eyes on her was making her sick.
She showed me pages and
pages of notes. I think I'd be nervous if I had to read from all of those
papers? Then I got an idea! I told her to put away the papers and just
speak from the heart about her best friend. I also assurred her that I make
her so relaxed she would enjoy her moment.
It was time to introduce
the head table. When I got to her, here is how I introduced her....'and
this is my friend Marilyn who is also the brides best friend. Marilyn is one
the sweetest and kindest people I know and a world class hugger. And if any
you people doubt me...just go check her out yourself!'
young man leaped to his feet and shouted out, "I'll check her
out". The crowd roared as he went up and gave her a long enthusiastic
hug. Marilyn was laughing along with the crowd. Then 3 more young men took
up the challenge. The room was rocking with laughter and just when it started
to subside the preacher stood up said he wanted to check her out as well. Not
this was getting hillarious. I've never seen Marilyn laughs so hard and she is
a girl who loves to laugh.
Immediately after the preacher had his hug I
asked her to give her toast to the bride. She gave a beautiful loving toast
and did it with good humor and grace. It was perfect!
the cuddle homone oxytocin into your brain. The beautiful thing about oxytocin
is that it reaches the brain almost instantaniously. Oxytocin has a dampening
effect on fear.
So if you are ever nervous about public speaking just
get some good hugs first. It works amazingly well. Toastmaster should
promote my idea and it would speed up helping people get over their fears of
public speaking. And of course its fun and just plain feels good.
BONUS TIP......some people get cold clamy hands when they are about to
stand up in front of crowd. Here is my solution to that, get a hot drink
(coffee or tea) and cup it in your hands before you get up. The warmth will
also help to calm you.