My Blog

Kirsty writes regularly here

Posts Tagged public speaking

Speak Easy – Book Review

Speak Easy 3 Ebook CoverThis week I reviewed Speak Easy by Maggie Eyre for Exisle Publishing.

From the first page of the introduction I felt like I was there, being supported by Maggie, and taken through her proven program step by step.

This book is written in a warm and encouraging way, thoroughly explaining each skill and concept. Whilst reading I really felt how generous Maggie is with sharing her knowledge and was convinced she really wanted me to succeed.

I have been professionally speaking since 2009, and have done a lot of ‘learn as I go’ in that time – so I wish I had of read this book many years ago. Speak Easy will set you up for success and covers all you will need to know to be an excellent speaker – not just a good one.

Thanks Maggie Eyre.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

Leave a Comment (0) →

Using the “5Ws & 1H” for Communication to get you Results

To be influential in your communication and hit your mark in terms of what you would like people to understand and remember is a skill that everyone can develop. A formula I use and teach others often, with great results, is the 5W’s and 1H, which over time I have put my own spin on.

Any time a:-

  • decision is to be made
  • you need to be heard
  • you are negotiating
  • you require change to happen or
  • you need directions followed

try this guide to communicate and be amazed at the results.

Who am I speaking to?

  • Who is this person, what is important to them and how can I align with their values and speak their language so they really hear my message.
  • Who else may be involved that need to be present or will be affected.
  • It is also essential to understand who you are, what you value and why this is important to you.

When is the best time to speak to them?

  • When is the time that the person will be most present and open to hear what I want to say.
  • When will there be enough time to cover issue/focus and encourage feedback/buy in.

What do I really want to say and what is outcome I want.

  • Be specific, honest and to the point
  • Use I statements to avoid perceptions of blame (I Feel.. When You…. Because…. I would prefer…)
  • What is the frequency that this message needs to be delivered, once or more follow up.

Why do I want to speak to this person?

  • Tell them what results you are looking for
  • Tell them what you will be doing differently
  • Tell them what this may mean for them

Where is the best place to speak to them?

  • What medium would suit and at what time.  For example; phone, email, in person, skype, personal message or text. Depending on the importance of your message verbal communication is most effective first.  Written and electronic material is good as a follow-up and reinforces information. Make sure your message gets across to the right people to avoid rumours and hearsay.
  • Avoid distractions to conversation where possible so that the person is clear on what you are saying and you can be clear on their point of view.
  • Choose the most effective means of getting your message across.  Check your communications channels are working for you.

How can I get my message across in the most authentic and compelling way?

  • How are you feeling? Is it matching how you would like your message to come across and how you would like the person to feel?
  • Be aware of your non-verbal/body language cues. Most people without even realising will respond to these first before what you say. Make sure you are using open body signals and a tone that matches what how you would like to come across.
  • Mirror their body language or electronic language as much as possible so a sub-conscious rapport is built between you and those you wish to converse with. The person will be more comfortable and open to hearing you.
  • Rehearse what you want to say first either through drafting or saying out loud before entering into discussions to make sure it is a true reflection of what you would like to say.
  • Ask yourself, am I the right person to deliver this message.

Communication break-down is one of the issues that so many people struggle with. I suggest to you to use the “5W 1H” approach of communication that I have refined to get results personally and professionally.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

Leave a Comment (0) →

Imagine Me – Holding an Audience Captivated for 40 minutes!

LR_Kirsty_003Kirsty O’Callaghan is now a sought after speaker in the areas of Resilience and Relationships, however it wasn’t always this way. Kirsty explains how this overnight success was anything but, and shares how you can take your business to the next level by developing a great speak and even greater you.

I have been speaking professionally now for nearly a decade. My business growth demanded that this was the next step that had to be taken. I didn’t think it would be that hard, I talk a lot, am good with people and can keep my nerves under control and most importantly know and believe in my topic.

I remember my first ‘gig’. I thought I was ready, had my notes, and had a room full of people, and then it happened. A few minutes before it was time to go on, I started panicking, my heart rate went up, I got a nervous rash on my neck and chest and my throat felt like it was closing over. My thoughts were telling me I wouldn’t remember what to say, who was going to listen to me, and other such defeating thoughts. I went on, basically read my notes and even though no one complained felt I didn’t hit that mark of inspiring my audience. If there was PowerPoint back then, it would of felt like death by PowerPoint!

So I spent the next 5 years learning to become an amazing speaker not just a good one. I attended training, watched lots of inspiring speakers and spent time overcoming any limiting thinking that said I was not good enough.

The 3 most impactful things I learnt was

  • Every speaker gets nervous
  • Plan, prepare and practice for each audience, every time you present as if it is the first time
  • Especially if you are a women, dress to impress

I began to feel more comfortable to tell my story to create connections to my audience and what I was sharing. I began to set intentions to be in service to the audience, to inspire and excite them and stopped making it about whether I was accepted. I also began to realize that it takes a few minutes to create a change for someone and for them to want more or for them to shut down, so how was I going to make the most of those few minutes.

Part of any trade or profession is the time you put into building experience and how much passion and focus you have to push through the small-unpaid ‘gigs’.   Like any great performer will tell you, the perceived overnight success equated to many hours and years of little or no pay, presenting to people that really weren’t listening. However, these hours are never wasted, as they prepare you and nothing is more valuable than exposure and learning what not to do before you hit the big time. The journey of small beginnings teaches you resilience, determination, and gives you space to reinvent and learn.

My biggest piece of advice; aim for excellence when presenting your passion or service to others. Make it about them, not you and always have great shoes.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

Leave a Comment (0) →


If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. Most people procrastinate to some degree.  Is procrastination stopping you fulfilling your potential and unsettling your life?

You procrastinate when you put off things that you could be, or know you should be, focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.

Putting off an unimportant task isn’t necessarily procrastination; it may just be good prioritization! If you have a good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. However, if you’re just “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are.

The key to taking back control is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better. To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to be aware straight away that you’re doing it. Then you can identify why you’re procrastinating and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.

Here are my 6 P’s for creating a new habit of action rather than non-action or avoidance:-

  1. PAY OFF – Establish and brainstorm what are the great things      that you will get once this is done.       WHY is it important to you?
  2. PEOPLE TO TELL AND PROMISE – Name your task and put a deadline      on it, then tell someone or a group of people and promise to have it      finished and ask for their support.       This creates an atmosphere of accountability and is a psychological      incentive for you to complete what you have been putting off.
  3. PREPARE AND HAVE A PROCESS – Prepare all that you need to get      this task done and have a list, diary and a process.  Are you going to do it all, in what      order, or are you going to break it down into smaller tasks?
  4. PAY ATTENTION – Be completely present with this task, no      breaks, no interruptions, and no distractions.
  5. PRACTISE – just keep following this guide on all tasks you      feel overwhelmed by or struggle to complete.  You don’t have to get it perfect,      practise will allow you to just do it and create a new habit of work/task      completion.
  6. PRAISE & CELEBRATE – Give yourself a big pat on the back      and reward each time you achieve your goal.  This will encourage you to keep going      forward.

One of my most favourite action steps is to aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day; which means conquering your hardest, least desirable task first thing in the morning so you don’t have to carry the load in your mind around with you all day.

Get started today and kick procrastination to the kerb! Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →

In the Pursuit of Happiness & Health have we forgotten the most important Relationship?

Emerging research suggests a strong peer network in the workplace and having close and supportive relationships personally and intimately helps individuals live longer and can increase happiness and health by 80%.

Researchers from Flinders University, found that people with the highest number of close friends outlived those with the least friends by 22 % – on average, living to the age of 79, compared to 65.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on death rates shows people living in intimate relationships (including those in married and de facto relationships); – both men and women – have lower death rates than single people in almost all age groups. A 2009 study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends’ women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to lead joyful lives.

I am seeing more and more clients suffering from stress, emotional issues, and physical illness and overwhelm than ever before.  The surprising link I am finding is the increase in the breakdown in having close and trusted relationships in our society today from home to workplace is a huge contributing factor. Most people who are finding difficulty creating healthy relationships with others admit to not knowing or even liking themselves and continuously put themselves in a position of being put down and criticized, which is having a dramatic impact on their health, happiness and success.

Having a hand to hold as you go through life makes the difficulties we all experience easier to deal with. When things go awry, knowing that your friends, partners, family members and co-workers have your back allows you to go through whatever you have to and come out the other side a more positive person.

Recent studies are showing that there is a link between the increase in depression, social isolation, stress and hostility in our society and the breakdown of supportive relationships.

The road has been bumpy and long to get to the point of this social and relationship crisis, and with more people reaching out and searching for answers I have been driven for over a decade to create awareness and educate people to be able to create excellent relationships that support them to excel personally and professionally.

The system and process I have created and teach to others incorporates wisdom from my own experiences and the Blue Zones by writer and explorer Dan Buettner, who has spent his life traveling the world in search of answers. Buettner argues that relationships are really the key to lifelong happiness, noting that “the happiest people socialize about seven hours a day,” and that “you’re three times more likely to be happy if you are married … and each new friend will boost your happiness about 10 percent.” He also states how important good relationships can be in the workplace, adding that “the biggest determinant of whether or not you’ll like your job is if you have a best friend there, more so than how much you’re paid.”

It has been said that you are the average of the 5 people you are around the most.  Your results will reflect this average from career, lifestyle, health, happiness, home, beliefs and even holidays.  I have seen people achieve the most extraordinary results in all these areas from becoming aware of this, making changes and consciously creating and embracing more meaningful and supportive relationships personally and professionally.

Surround yourself in people who uplift you and inspire you, search for those people, be your own best friend and be open to being loved and showing how much you care for others.  Your health and happiness is determined by these connections, so make it a priority for you today.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Mindfulness, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →

Are you Mindful to practise Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is a form of self-awareness that focuses our attention on the task at hand. – A moment by moment awareness. When we are mindful, our attention is not caught up in the past or future, and we are not judging or rejecting what is occurring at the moment. –  We are present.

This kind of attention creates acceptance, energy, clear-headedness and a feeling of joy.  I have found it is a skill that can be learned and cultivated by anyone.

When you have a mindfulness practise in place some examples of what you will experience are:

  • Having a better relationship with stuff that is happening
  • Being aware
  • Being more flexible
  • Experience a Relaxed state more
  • Not being stuck in the past, fear or worries
  • A Stronger immune system
  • More energy
  • More happiness
  • Management of anxiety and depression
  • Have the skills to overcome overwhelm
  • Creating a positive and calm experience of daily life
  • Paying close attention, on purpose, right now, without judgement in your life.
  • Being in the moment for what it is, not a reaction or prediction.
  • Body Regulation & Better Health
  • Better Communication
  • Emotional Balance
  • Insight
  • Empathy
  • Creativity & Intuition enhanced
  • Resilience
  • Feelings of Stability
  • Kindness & Compassion
  • Non-Reactivity or you Act and not React

Mindfulness has been adapted for use in treatment of depression, especially preventing relapse, anxiety disorders, stress, behaviour problems, interpersonal conflict, confusion, despair and for assisting with mood regulation.

The potential of these mindfulness and acceptance based approaches have bought in a new wave of cognitive behavioural treatments for familiar problems.

Everyday do a mindful ‘self-check’. You only have right now. Use it to its best advantage. Mindfulness trains you to become aware of what is going on inside you and how your inner world of thoughts and feelings are reacting to the events that are taking place in the world around you.

When you develop this kind of awareness, you will be more aware of inner disturbances if they arise, and therefore more able to take steps to maintain a positive outlook if they do.

Often, stress and anxiety build up over a period of time because we are not paying attention to what is going on inside us.

How do your thoughts and words impact how you feel?

How do your emotions unconsciously drive your behaviours?

Without conscious awareness of these subtleties we have very little chance of changing them. With awareness and mindfulness we have the opportunity to determine the amount of happiness and joy in our life. As we become self-aware we have the opportunity to make choices instead of just react from habit or negative emotions.

A quick mindfulness exercise is S.T.O.P.

  • Stop,
  • Take a Breath,
  • Observe what you are feeling and thinking,
  • Proceed and Participate in what is most important.

Be mindful and watch your life expand to become extraordinary.  Kirsty

Posted in: Mindfulness

Leave a Comment (0) →

Picking your state and intention for the day – YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

Do you just get up every morning, head hung low, would rather be back in bed? Do you just get up and start going through your morning routine, putting one foot in front of the other? Do you wonder where your motivation,let alone inspiration have gone?

I have realised that beginning the day with no clear direction, no high expectations and on automatic pilot does not get me the results I want or need. I am going to share with you a couple of tricks to get you feeling more energetic andinspired each day.

Know your overall picture/goals for the next couple of years. It always brings more meaning to your life when you know where you are headed. Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time? What is happening? Who is with you? How are you feeling? What are you doing? Remember, it’s not what you don’t want, it is what you would like to work towards and where you want to be.

Once you know where it is and what you want, pick a state that suits this part of your life. Is it happy, healthy, open, engaging, pumped, peaceful, in control,respecting and respected, grateful, confident, valued, or the like? Once you know the state that feels right, get in that state from right now. Remind yourself constantly I am……. today.

Set your intention for each day. What do you intend to do, to be, to achieve,to overcome, to create? Know this, write it down and begin.

Try this for the next month. I will guarantee you will see your life become more enjoyable, you will get more meaningful things done and you will move away from what you don’t want because you are too busy getting what you do want and enjoying yourself!

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →

Be Resilient In Times Of Change

There is a lot of change happening at the moment. Changes in the private sector, the public sector, schools, retail, just to name a few. During times of change you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, frustrated and unsure of what you can do to cope.

Resilience is a constant belief in you to be well,to be happy, and to be better. Resilience is an inner quality that allows you to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever.

Rather than letting failure or change overcome you, you can find a way to get back up, get back in control, re-invent yourself and your circumstances and use this as an opportunity rather than a misfortune. After experiencing hardship resilient people are able to change course and soldier on.

Psychologists have identified some of the factorsthat make someone resilient, among them –

•           a positive attitude,

•           optimism,

•           the ability to regulate emotions,

•           and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

Resilience is the process by which you adapt to changes or crises, like death, tragedy, the loss of a job, or financial problems. Resilience is not a character trait – it can be learned by anyone, but learning it does require time and effort, and the effort you put in is well worth the rewards.

Here are 10 resiliency-building tips:

  1. Get adequate restorative sleep. Poor sleep patterns and stress go hand-in-hand.
  2. Engage in adequate physical exercise daily. Exercise is a major buffer against stress, including stress from depression.
  3. Maintain a healthy diet. You will not feel good about yourself, have enough energy or promote your bodies healing process if you continually eat junk food, or have an unbalanced diet, or eat food that is loaded with preservative, additives and chemicals or have above recommended portion sizes.
  4. Have a loving support system; relationships which convey understanding, respect and interest and are grounded in good listening and establishing safety and basic trust. Quality social support correlates with higher levels of resiliency.
  5. Meet challenges as they occur and avoid procrastination and the stresses that come from it and crises that arise from delays.
  6. Build tolerance for doubt and uncertainty, attempt to stay in the present moment being Mindful, and you are less likely to experience anxieties related to a need for certainty.
  7. Express values, such as responsibility and integrity. This gives you a firm base for change and decisive action.
  8. Work to build high frustration tolerance. High frustration tolerance, cognitive flexibility, and a problem-solving mindset are the corner stones of resilience.
  9. Be an optimist. Make lemonade out of lemons!  This type of sunny disposition with a small dose of realism is the best way to, achieve your goals and meet your commitments, overcome challenges and keep a smile on your face (which of course sets off beneficial health promoting hormones).
  10. Boost resilience by reducing your risk of negative thinking and increase your chances for realistic positive and pro-active thinking.

There are times when we are put off course, dramatically and painfully, to begin again and become more, better and brighter than we were previously.  There are times when we question the method of redirection.  What I know is that greatness is born of adversity, so if there is a grand opportunity in this time of change for you, what could it be?

To get your pack of resilience cards personally designed and created by Kirsty click here

Posted in: Business, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →

What worth do you put on you?

This is one of my favourite ‘thinking’ stories.Isn’t it funny how sometimes a simple metaphor can put things in perspective.  I wanted to share this today to inspire you to feel your worth no matter how ‘crumpled’ and ground down with life you may feel.  As you go into the next year, let go of your limiting perceptions and embrace your true worth and who you are, that is the place of miracles!

A $100 Dollar Bill Author Unknown

“A well known speaker started off his  seminar by holding up a $100 bill.  In the  room of 200, he asked.  “Who would like this $100 bill?”

Hands started going up. He said,  “I am going to give this $100  to one of you –  but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the  100 dollar note up. He then asked.  “Who still  wants it?” Still the hands  were up in the air.

“Well,” he replied,  “what if I do this?” He dropped it on  the ground and started to grind it  into the floor with his shoe.  He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.  “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands  went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned  a very valuable lesson.  No matter what I  did to the  money, you still wanted it because  it did not decrease in value. It  was  still worth $100.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped , crumpled, and ground into the dirt   by the decisions we make and the circumstances  that come our way.

We feel as  though we are worthless;  but no matter what happened or what will  happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased,  you are still priceless to God and to those who  love you.

The worth of our lives comes, not in  what we do, what we have or who we know,  but by…WHO WE ARE.

You are so special in all the world  there is only one you — don’t ever forget it.

Remember, you may be only one person in  the world, but you may also be the world  to one person.”

Posted in: Business, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →

Understanding and Overcoming Workplace Stress

Workplace stress complaints are becoming more common.  The effects of enduring stress at work may result in:-

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Boredom and a loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Illness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of energy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

In workplaces where stress is an issue there are higher rates of absenteeism and staff turnover, reduced productivity, increased customer dissatisfaction and increased health compensation claims.

Common workplace stressors (however, not limited to):-

  • How secure you feel in your job
  • Your workload is too much or there is constant distractions
  • You have no say in your workload, the work you are asked to do or there is confusion over priorities, deadlines or standards
  • Your job does not offer you flexibility and you cannot balance work and home life
  • Your work is boring or not stimulating you
  • You have too little or too much contact with people while doing your job
  • Your job negatively impacts your physical health or there is the threat of physical danger
  • You don’t have supportive relationships with co-workers, supervisors and/or clients.  You may feel the victim of bullying, intimidation or inappropriate ‘humour’
  • You don’t have a clear understanding of what is expected of you. There is minimum praise, feedback and positive conversations about areas of improvement
  • Any changes are not communicated effectively and encouragingly
  • There are no or little opportunities and support for training, learning and career development

The causes of stress can be many and varied and each person will experience and deal with stressful situations differently.  The key is to acknowledge that unless you take action this will adversely impact your productivity, relationships, health and wellbeing.

Tips for dealing with, managing and reducing stress:-

  • Take care of yourself so that you are more resilient and stress resistant.
    • Be mindful of eating to promote your health, strength and energy.
    • Drink enough water each day to keep hydrated.
    • Exercise regularly, even a short walk in a park at lunch time will be of benefit.
    • Get enough quality sleep, so that you can recover from the pressures of the day and feel more energised each morning.
    • Have a relaxation practise where you can relax your whole body and release any tension in your muscles.
    • Take time during your day to take some deep breaths.  Shallow breathing tells your body it is stressed where as deep breathing sends the message that you are calm.
  • Be organised and focused to minimise overwhelm.
    • Have a diary and lists of priorities.
    • Don’t over commit yourself or attempt to multi task.
    • Include regular breaks/downtime. This time is important; it does not take away from your productivity, you will find this time increases your output at work and in your personal life.
    • If you are unable to complete a task, ask for help, delegate or approach your supervisor or client and suggest another way to get task completed.  Don’t leave it till it is too late.
    • Take the ‘elephant beetle’ approach – if you are feeling a task is unpleasant or concerning you, get it out of the way first thing.  Minimise procrastination.
  • Cultivate and encourage a good relationship with yourself and others.
    • Recognise your stressors and your emotions.  The trick to managing stress is identifying triggers before they have a chance to affect your results.
    • Have a positive attitude and laugh regularly, a sure fire way to reduce the pressure build up.
    • Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust.  Keep specific rather than generalise about the issues and situations you find challenging.
    • If you are unsure, ask. If you think you have missed something, clarify.  If you need help…. Ask.
    • Notice and give praise for good work performance, to yourself and others in your workplace.  There are always opportunities to recognise a job well done.
    • If you would like opportunities for professional development, actively seek workplace policy on this.  If there is none, find out if one could be developed, and point out the benefit to the business and yourself.
    • Be a part of social interaction in the workplace.  Keep it appropriate and positive.
  • Be clear on the values and direction of your workplace and how working there benefits you.  There is a reason you are there, focus on that rather than the things that get you down.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Resilience

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 2 12