Connecting in a cool, calm manner
You might need to read that sentence again. It is not quite what you expect to hear from a public speaking specialist.
Ms Barkworth, 45, runs Cool, Calm and Connected from her home in Brunswick Heads. She trained as a life coach and her role models are President Barack Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton and John F Kennedy. It is the quality of presence of these men that Ms Barkworth admires.
Learning about public speaking isn’t just about being able to get up on stage and give a riveting speech, it is much more than that, Ms Barkworth said.
“What I am really doing is helping people to connect with themselves – and then connect with each other,” she said.
It is all about having the willingness to stay still and be receptive to another person, she said.
Her program helps people develop new habits and highlights what is already working in their communication with others. “We are not islands, we have to communicate,” she said.
Who seeks help from Cool, Calm and Connected?
Business professionals, therapists and anyone who wants to communicate better, facilitate meetings more effectively and even writers who are pitching their work topublishers.
It is the polar opposite of Toastmasters, Ms Barkworth said.
Her techniques show people how to ‘hold the space’ and be a leader.
“It is about the social dynamics of bringing people together,” she said.
Available for training sessions and speaking engagements, Ms Barkworth thrives on the interactive and sometimes quirky and theatricalnature of her job.
She plans to expand the way she can support others in communicating with her Calm Kit for Speakers and Leaders.
There are six items in the kit that help prepare you to speak.
There are calming exercises and essential oil made by a professional aromatherapist. The kit costs $34 and will be available on her website at the end of November.
Here is an exercise Ms Barkworth recommends. Practise being 100 per cent present with the person you are with. Here’s how you do it.
Listen, and angle your body towards the person. Maintain your eye gaze and have the intention of ‘seeing’ the person.
Ms Barkworth said this simple technique had brought amazing results from clients who had tried it. “I teach life techniques,” she said.