Case Study 3 - Developing a Personal Voice, Overcoming Anxiety Attacks and Persuasion for a MD

The Situation

The MD of this publicly listed group came to us with anxiety attacks and a burgeoning fear of public speaking. He had been a confident speaker in the past but had suddenly found himself developing a fear of speaking, with unknown causes.

The Program

The MD engaged in an intensive program every week for several months, in order to overcome a pressing problem.

We designed a program that incorporated methods for relieving anxiety, building vocal strength and dynamics and building a repertoire of stories, anecdotes about the values he wished to promote and strategies for tackling questions and short topics in meetings. We worked together on reducing signals of anxiety or stress and providing means and methods for him to relax when speaking in front of others.

We worked on the MD's communication across settings and developed communication strategies for many of the high level initiatives that he wished to implement. We communicated remotely to develop and refine speeches and his general strategies.

Major events, as well as board and management meetings were frequently targeted and strategised to create better results, overcome his anxieties, and increase his confidence through building concrete skills that he could rely on extemporaneously.

The Results

The MD overcame significant difficulties and presented in numerous situations to staff, finding a personal voice that allowed him to communicate far more effectively with staff and peers.

He successfully addressed collected staff and peers in diverse settings and developed an internal scaffolding that allowed him to remember and note direction of his speeches and to deliver them unaided by notes and unhindered by reading haltingly verbatim from prepared speeches. The individual also developed a personal and engaging style that drew on his sense of humour and began to involve far more of his audience, creating greater buy-in, response and influence at important events.

He commented frequently on how the program was helping him to significantly reduce his anxieties and improve his communication and results. He even began to enjoy it!

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