The Magic Feather: The Magic Is Inside You! Speaking By Heart

November 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Posted in The Magic Feather | Leave a comment

What do you think of when someone asks  you to “say it by heart?”  Most would say memorize exactly what you’ve written! Yes? That certainly takes the heart out of speaking your words. Memorization creates a great deal of pressure to say the exact words you’ve written.

Memorization combined with nervousness and fear of forgetting can lead to a total brain freeze; a breakdown of words that flee from you in terror – no matter how hard you try to remember. Ever happen to You? You’re not alone.

What can You do to remember those eloquent words you’ve spun?

1)  Don’t Memorize

Thoughts in and of themselves are not memorable – without emotion. Think about a favorite song, the lyrics that you’ve committed to memory. If not sung, the words go flat; you may even forget some of the words; the emotion lost. The same thing happens when you memorize. If you are memorizing,  you are only recalling words. The pathos behind your words lie fallow – with no life.

2)  Don’t Write Word for Word

If speaking from notes, write key words and phrases. If your notes become a written document you will try to read or lift from your page every word you have written; a sure way to lose the attention of your listeners.

Use key words to prompt the continuation of your thoughts. Your speaking style will come across more relaxed – more conversational – more effective.

3)  Don’t Undermine Your Knowledge

Who knows your topic, your reason for speaking on your subject better than you. If you feel you don’t and your listeners know more:

• Put a new spin on the subject

• Stay current; up-to-date on the topic

• Speak for the experience

• Be passionate – above all!

4)  Don’t Think Only In Words

American author, Mark Twain, was one of the first to devise a system of remembering his speeches. A haystack with a wiggly line under it to represent a rattlesnake would remind him to begin talking about ranch life in the west.

He would draw a picture of each section of his speech, all strung out in a row.

Then he would look at them and destroy them. When he spoke, the row of images was sharp in his mind. He never needed to consult notes. The system was so good that he could recall speeches given 25 years earlier.

Twain was employing a feature of memory that has since been confirmed by research that – images are more memorable than words.

The capacity of memory for pictures may be almost unlimited. In experiments, people shown up to 10,000 pictures could later select those they had seen from among unfamiliar ones with remarkable accuracy. Many people dismiss these mnemonic techniques which depend on imagery. 

Think In Pictures! Not Just Words!

Any great photo-journalist will tell you, “that a picture is worth a thousand words!”


                           Own The Words and Images – Make Them Yours! 

                                           Speak Them From The Heart!



The Magic Feather: Resisting FEAR!

August 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Posted in The Magic Feather | 1 Comment

The Magic Feather

The Magic is Inside YOU!

by Bev Thompson

A few weeks after posting my last article about magic talismans and short-lived miracles when facing your fears, I stopped by Fauna, an Upper West Side exotic pet and bird store in New York City to pick up a light for my aquarium.

As I came to the checkout there was a bin of Chinese finger-pulls, also known as Chinese finger-traps. “What are these used for?” I asked. “The birds play with them as a toy, unraveling them with their beaks,” the cashier replied.

I remembered back to traveling carnivals and circuses and the finger-traps they gave as prizes at their game concessions, their big-top tents and the circus elephants who lifted them, and the story of Dumbo, who lost his magic feather and his confidence to fly.

I couldn’t seem to escape the presence of feathers, fiction, and finger-traps that day.

Curious, I tested out the finger-traps with the cashier. I bought what remained of the finger-traps in the basket to test another aspect of fear in my classes  – and for this current article on Resistance!

How Can I Stop Avoiding and Resisting What I’m Afraid Of?

1) Let Go of Resistance

2) Avoid Learned Helplessness

3) Stop Catastrophic Expectations

 There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

                                                                                                             ~ Alfred Hitchcock

1) Let Go. . .

When I first introduced the finger traps to an ethnically diverse group of students,many had never seen a finger trap or knew its use.

I asked one of the students to put his index finger into one end of the trap as I put my index finger into the opposite end. I then asked him to take their finger out. The harder he tugged the tighter the finger trap became with each pull and the tighter it became around my finger.

The fear? We would never free our fingers! When I asked him to relax and push his finger inward toward my finger and the center of the trap, the trap’s tightened weave loosened and we were able to release our fingers. The tension was no longer entrapping us and we were able to pull our fingers out easily and gently.

Remember:  Go toward the fear – accept it! If you resist – the fear will persist, gain momentum and wrestle control from you making you totally self-absorbed by your fear. Not releasing fear’s grip will entrap, minimise, and eventually sabotage your message, your delivery, and ~ You!

2) Avoid Learned Helplessness       

Life is Not determined by forces beyond your control!

Remember: You can do anything you want to do – if you really want to! How you live your life is determined by a choice(s) you make or an action(s) you take.

Don’t leave your confidence behind by giving up or selling yourself short!  Confidence is the part of yourself that you exhale and “give out” – not something you inhale and “keep in”.  Lose yourself!  Commit to others!  Reap the rewards that come with losing your self-conscious self to a confident persona. Lose your sense of helplessness.

Creating abundance insists that you move beyond your fear. If you become helpless, your talents become immobilized as well. The become lost treasure –buried alive.

Learned helplessness comes across to others that you are suspicious or distrustful, perhaps even a victim of circumstances. You may even think that these defenses will keep you out of trouble. You’ve come this far, you’re still here. Why? Because You are in control.

Get out of your own way and  – Breathe! Breathe OUT –  then Breathe IN the joy of how confidence feels; how enriched your life will become by putting yourself out in front – and not behind the scenes.

3) Stop Catastrophic Expectations

“If something bad can happen, it will,” you fearfully say!  Get a grip!  Once you start expecting disastrous consequences, a self-fulfilling prophecy can build!

Remember: There is pure folly in thinking that we are perfect and are living only for the approval of others. So you fail in any given instant; is it as bad as it might seem?

Practice your speech five times instead of three today in front of a friend or a family member before your big presentation. You say you did – and it was really bad. I say, did you fall down, get rejected, sound awful?

Well, get up, move on, and go practice your speech in the shower. The reflected resonance will give you greatest sounding voice. Your voice is yours. Uniquely yours! Only yours! You have a voice, so – use it, even if you’re not Perfect! Oh, and by the way – no one is!

Remember: Perfectionism is a form of Procrastination. You never get there!

Live life abundantly! There’s enough joy and confidence in abundance to go around. Keep some for yourself – then share it with others.

Smile at your reflection in the mirror; then give that same smile away to someone today!

The Magic Feather

April 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Posted in The Magic Feather | Leave a comment

The Magic Feather

The Magic Is Inside YOU!

by Bev Thompson

Magic talismans have been around for centuries, but unfortunately they seldom are the making of miracles, foretelling the future, or predicting our paths in life. if anything, their power is based upon myth and short-lived.

Your Magic Feather can be gone with the slightest whisk of air. Just ask Dumbo, the circus elephant who thought he could fly with a Magic Feather tucked inside his trunk, until he lost the feather, and with it – his confidence to fly!

This post will help you discover that it is The Magic Within You – and not from some outside force, friend, energy, or trick that will help you become a better speaker,  but rather by embracing Your Authentic Self – The Magic Inside You!

Where Do You Find The Magic?

To discover The Magic – Your Magic, begin by asking yourself these questions:

 1) How Can I Free My Fears?

 2) How Can I Face Up to Anxiety?

 3) How Can I Become More Self-Confident?

 The answers to these questions will point you in the direction of Your Authentic Self – The Magic Inside You!

The magic within is often referred to as your organic-self, your spirit, your authentic self. This magic needs to be nurtured, appreciated, and embraced in order to feel worthy and confident. Wanting to be just like someone else can actually sabotage your desire to conquer your fear, anxiety, and embrace feelings of self-worth.

As you read the following, see which words strike a deep feeling of recognition inside of you. I invite you to reflect on each of the following key points and the personal meaning each question has for You.

1) How Can You Free Your Fears?

            “If You Judge People, You Have No Time To Love Them.” ~ Mother Theresa

• Let Go of Judgement   

Do you depend too much on the approval of others? When you need to approval or admiration of others’, you may be allowing other’s opinions stop you from taking action. Inside your unresolved assessment of yourself, anxieties are borne inflamed by the critiques of others.

Set those critics lose – let them die – in order to be free!

• Let Go of Wanting to Be Just LIke Someone Else

 Vicarious envy will pull you away from the real challenge – Being ¥ou! We improve our skills by – Doing! Don’t passively watch and wish you could be like someone else.

– Don’t Mimic!

– Make Your Own Style!

– Take Action!

– Don’t Be A – Wanna-Be!

• Let Go of Perfectionism

 Being perfect is a Myth. It is a form of “procrastination” because you never quite get there. Perfectionism confines you, makes you stop short of your goals, keeps you neat and tidy editing yourself – into oblivion – trying to find the “illusive” perfectionism you seek.

Don’t waste anymore of your valuable time!

2) How Can You Face Up To Anxiety?

• Minimalize The Power

 Anxiety feeds on itself and multiplies. Accept that Everyone gets nervous and anxious at one time or another when speaking. Accept the adrenaline rush, then move the focus off yourself and on your message.

• Think Others – Think Message – NOT Self!

Instead of looking in the mirror and focusing on your bad hair day, the circles under your eyes, or that chipped nail, say the introduction to your presentation. Say it until it belongs to You!

• Speak –  Don’t Talk

Talking is random; Speaking is Purposeful and PREPARED! You have heard that worn out cliché about Carnegie Hall. Even so, it does ring true. How do you get anywhere in life successfully? With a lot of hard work, dedication and good ole Practice!

3) How Do You Become More Self-Confident?

        “Be Yourself, The World Worships the Original.” ~ Ingrid Bergman

• Use High-Octane Self-Talk

 Don’t bad mouth yourself! If you talk to others the way you loathe and beat up on yourself, you would have no friends. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence will eventually follow your self-loathing and abusive self-talk around ~ like a puppy dog. Praise goes a long way! Always accept those areas that need improvement and always compliment yourself for a presentation well done.

• Find the Pearl

 Learning to speak confidently is not about changing You! Making You LIke Someone Else! It is about finding the pearl hidden within you that is the perfect shape and size. It’s All Yours!

– It’s Your Brilliance

Your Shine

Your Polish

– The Gem that is Uniquely You

• Be Yourself!

 You pay yourself a compliment when you embrace your uniqueness. You enhance your self-esteem with a deep and lasting fulfillment with many rewards and much applause to follow.

So what are you waiting for?

                          Embrace Your Authentic Self – The Magic Inside You!

Please write in, if you would like, and share your thoughts, insights, and additions. I welcome them.

Contact Bev Thompson at: for information about scheduling workshops and master classes.





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