News (blog)

The ATD New Hampshire Chapter Blog page directly supports the Chapter mission as a venue in which chapter members can share best practices in learning, to promote dialogue, and to generate opportunities for networking and resource sharing.  Members may submit their original blog postings to

Please note the comments function of this blog is intended to be a forum in which you can freely express yours views on the blog postings and comments made by others.  Given that, please understand that you are responsible for the material that you post either. The ATD NH Board reserves the right to remove/edit any posts that are inappropriate in nature, are "spam" or contain questionable language. 

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  • 20 Oct 2011 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    During tough economic times, dollars for training and development are sometimes the first ones to go on the chopping block in order to reduce immediate costs.  However, senior leaders in any organization should be aware of both sides of the argument.  The debate of the short term need for profit and the long term need for development of human capital will continue to be argued.  Cutting training and development programs during a recession can have benefits because of the cost savings, but such cuts may stunt the long term growth of the organization-Kris Mailepors

  • 11 May 2010 12:40 AM | Anonymous

    Author: "Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict"
    Owner, Power & Presence Training
    Founder, Portsmouth Aikido

    As a professional singer and speaker, I'm often asked if I still get nervous in front of an audience. I do. But I've learned to use my nervous energy – and minimize its impact.

    I practice aikido, a martial art in which we use the energy of the attack instead of resisting it.

    In our example, imagine stage fright as the attack. What if we could somehow transform the fear and anxiety and consciously direct it toward the goal of a great performance?

    The metaphor is similar to the way professional athletes think about pressure: the greater the pressure, the more focused the athlete. Similarly, you can change your relationship with stage fright by working with it and allowing it to shift you into "the zone".

    Getting Ready

    The anxiety associated with performance usually spikes shortly before show time. But symptoms can begin days or even weeks in advance and range from dry mouth and shortness of breath to a complete inability to perform.

    Change your perspective. While it may seem that your body is attacking you, consider that your anxiety may be your body's way of preparing for the event. Rename the "attack" and call it excitement, readiness training, or purposeful design. In addition, focus your awareness on the symptoms. Notice how they show up, grow, subside, grow again, and subside again. Ride the wave. Stay present and increase awareness. Measure the symptoms (That was a 7 on the Richter scale!). Be curious about them (Wow, look how my body is shaking. Amazing!). Even try amplifying them.

    When I'm really nervous, I shiver. In the past, the shivers could grow strong enough to prevent me from speaking. Before a concert some years ago, instead of resisting, I tried to amplify the symptom and shiver more. By doing this, I became the driver instead of the passenger and was gradually able to stop shivering. I blended with the energy and redirected it.

    Transform the inner mugger: Prior to the presentation, notice your internal dialogue. Is it friendly or hostile?

    When I'm feeling intimidated, my inner mugger will say things like:They won't like this presentation. They'll see right through you. You're not good enough. This is not terribly useful. I used to try to ignore this voice, but it just got worse.

    Now, I pay attention, listen, and ask a few questions, like: So why won't they like it? See through what? What would be good enough? Shining awareness on the voice tends to quiet it, so that I can replace it with a more supportive one: I'm ready. This is going to be fun. What inner support can you give yourself before a performance?

    Visualize the ideal: Sit quietly, close your eyes, and see in your mind's eye your best performance. Hear your message. Sense your connection with the audience. Picture the conclusion, the group's praise, and your own happiness, knowing you did your best.

    You're On: Maintaining Connection
    Once in front of the audience, your nervous energy has an outlet. As you speak, the energy moves into vocal and physical action. Continue to connect with the audience. Look into their eyes. The audience is your ally. They want you to be good. Believing this will help you fulfill their hopes.

    Center and extend ki. In aikido, we center ourselves and extend our life energy (ki) to greet and redirect the attack with intention and purpose. On stage, you can do the same thing: breathe, center yourself, and imagine your ki extending outward and encompassing the entire audience.

    A successful presentation will depend on two things: delivery and content. Practice for peers, friends, relatives, and anyone who will listen. Acknowledge your nervous energy and appreciate what's behind it–the desire to do your best. Before long, your nervous symptoms will be like old friends you wave to on your way to a powerful presentation.

     Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict, by Judy Ringer
  • 13 Mar 2010 3:16 AM | Anonymous
    Artistic Director - New Hampshire Theatre Project
    Adjunct Faculty - University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University
    Affiliate Consultant – The Brown Center, The Woodland Group

    This spring, I have been teaching two sections of Public Speaking for the Thompson School at the University of New Hampshire. Most students begin this course with the belief that effective public speakers are simply born with this talent – you either have it or you don’t. As they begin to observe and critique other speakers, to analyze and apply specific techniques to their own presentations, a realization grows: Human beings are storytellers by nature, and we all have within us the ability to be powerful and effective public speakers.

    Think about the last story your favorite uncle told around the family dinner table. A colleague’s tale of her vacation adventures that made you feel as though you were right there with her. You and your friends recounting a recent incident at work that made you all laugh together. What do all of these experiences have in common? Sharing stories. 

    If you look back at those experiences, you will probably remember how the stories were animated with facial expressions, gestures, humor, eye contact, energy, changes in vocal tone, and vivid imagery. There were probably very few cases of people saying “um” and forgetting their words, or aimlessly fidgeting with fingers, pens, and loose change, or pacing the floor in a random distracting pattern.

    Why? Because the storytellers were deeply connected to the story. When we feel personal passion about a topic, we relax and speak in an authentic natural way. Although individual styles may differ, we all automatically connect to our audience because we are so deeply connected to the story itself.

    But when we are asked to speak in a formal setting, especially in a situation in which we are afraid of being judged, something happens. Our internal censors click in and immediately start editing. Although we may take the task very seriously, there is a part of us deep down inside that doesn’t believe what we’re saying is real, that it is not an integral part of our essential selves. We become physically and emotionally disengaged from the topic. And then we stumble over words, lose our train of thought, hold our breath. Our physical actions are disconnected to the story. We are not fully present in our presentation, and the audience senses this. 

    Becoming a powerful presenter and public speaker is simply a matter of re-discovering what we already do naturally. So in a sense, my students are right – it is a gift that everyone has, but not all of us remember how to use it.
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