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Success Advice

This Hollywood Coach Has 3 Foolproof Tips for Conquering Nerves



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One important element of true professionalism is conquering the fear of making a mistake. In certain situations, like public speaking, that fear can freeze you like a deer in headlights. Wherever you are — live, online in a virtual conference, or in front of fellow team members –chances are you’re going to have to address an audience. I coach actors — for whom fear can literally tank your career. After observing how certain strategies can effectively help them overcome their fears, I realized these strategies can work for anyone.

Here are three key tips to help you conquer the fear of being in front of an audience, whoever they may be. Learn them, practice them, and use them whenever you’re called upon to speak in public: 

1. Try to be bad

This works every time, though it seems counterintuitive. Like many of the best strategies in reverse psychology, it undoes the power of the very situation you fear most. The phrase came from the great actor Martin Landau, who would coach his fellow actors by saying, “Try to be bad.” What he meant was, when you fear making a mistake, or being wrong, you block the free and natural instincts you need to perform. This isn’t just about acting — it’s about being yourself. Grant yourself the freedom to mess up, and the big surprise is that you’re far less likely to do so.

One way to test this out: practice your speech in advance. Get a trusted group of friends to play the audience and keep it loose. Ask for their reactions as you’re talking — did you sound genuine? Are you interesting? Is your voice too monotone? Let yourself do everything wrong. You’ll likely make some great discoveries. By the time you’re ready for the Big Day, you’ll be well aware of what works and relaxed enough to do it.

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” – John Ford

2. Turn fear into gratitude

Success requires discipline. Sometimes, that can seem like a burden or a trap, and that feeling can erode your progress as you try to break free. Instead, take a moment and remind yourself that this is a choice. It’s your choice. If you choose to embrace discipline in your life, it will create positive habits which in turn create positive results. In terms of your need to get better at speaking in public — be it for one day or one job, or for the rest of your career — it’s the same situation. If you resent it, you won’t let yourself grow.

Instead, look at the freedom that positive results will bring you, and be grateful for the chance to achieve them. You’ll be free from the fear of not doing well, free from the fear of the unknown, and free from not understanding what it takes to do well. It’s a tremendous shift in how you define putting in the work — from confinement to freedom, from a trap to new wings — and it’s an approach you can use for countless situations throughout your life.

3. Make everything make you better

This is a key mantra I teach my Hollywood clients: Make everything make you better. We all get into bad situations — we face frustrating and daunting problems all the time. If you’re facing a challenge with that clammy feeling that it could all go south, try switching your mindset from negative to positive. Ask yourself: How can I use this bad situation to make myself better? What can it teach me? How can I leverage it to help myself grow? As soon as you ask these questions, you go into problem-solving mode — and chances are there are plenty of solutions in your experience to draw from.

Use the pressure as an opportunity to focus with intention. And if things don’t go 100% perfectly, look at that low point as a part of life as natural as spilling coffee and getting a stain on your shirt. It happens. But you prevailed. Imperfections are what make us human, after all — and being human is far more interesting that seeming like a robot. You can even use the example in your next talk!

I’ve found that these 3 strategies can turn around even the worst kinds of fear. They allow you to become philosophical, embrace growth instead of punishment, and have a little fun practicing. They open you up so you can be yourself — and even show a little vulnerability to your audience. That’s never a bad thing, believe me.

Craig Archibald is a writer, director, producer, actor and coach whose professional career began at 15 and includes award-winning film and television productions. The founder of the Archibald Studio, he’s worked with countless actors, including Eric Roberts, Dan Futterman, John Slattery, Kathryn Erbe and Constance Wu. Craig is a passionate mentor with powerful strategies for success that cross into every field. He’s the author of The Actor’s Mindset: Acting as a Craft, Discipline, and Business. Learn more at the

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Success Advice

7 Tips to Becoming a Successful Networker

Making yourself more memorable means you’ll have a better chance of making connections



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Corporate events have long been regarded as an important tool for broadening professional networks and expanding business. Yet it’s tough to stand out from the crowd when it comes to networking at these events. You’re not the only one at the event, which means you’re competing for attention with other attendees who are also trying to make a splash. (more…)

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The 2-Minute Rule: The Secret to Habit Success

By starting with a small, manageable task, it becomes much easier to build consistency



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It’s a given fact that we all want to build habits, goals that we want to achieve, and things that we want to change in our lives. However, on the other side of the coin, it can be hard to sustain motivation and consistency.  (more…)

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way



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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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