Speech design tips: Speaking lessons from snakes

In presentations remember these speaking lessons from snakes

What are the Speaking lessons from snakes? Dr. Albert Bandura used snakes to change the way we view psychology and how we learn to overcome our fears. For many speaking in public is a debilitating fear. Dr Bandura was frustrated with traditional therapy and how long it took. He searched for a better way to help people with debilitating phobias. He believed a series of positive experiences could positively impact our fears.

The experiment he designed was to cure people of a debilitating fear of snakes, success would be measure by these phobics being able to sit with a 6 foot red tailed boa constrictor on their laps. Initially none of the phobics would even enter the room with snake in its glass cage. He did not lecture – cajole threaten … (we have all done it, it doesn’t work) or try convince them their fears were silly. He got them to watch from doorway, or, if still petrified, though a glass observation window. They watched a therapist go in, pet the snake, lift it out, then sit with snake on their lap. The subjects then began to try it on their own. Some dressed like samurai warriors in hockey masks and protective gear. After a few tries they were, in a large number of cases, able to ultimately sit quietly with a six foot Boa Constrictor on their lap. Once they had a positive experience with a snake, people previously paralysed with fear, were completely cured. It changed their lives forever. Their whole lives seemed to open up. All this took just about three hours.

Speaking lessons from snakes

As speakers we can learn from the Speaking lessons from snakes to overcome our fears through the vicarious experience of watching others grow personally and professionally. Then, when we are ready, we try it for ourselves. Over time we learn we don’t die when we get up and speak. Initially we protect ourselves with lecterns and notes, then eventually we are able to stand up and shine.

If you want to learn how to create One Clear Message in your presentations and benefit from the Speaking lessons from snakes contact us today!

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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