Peripheral Vision – a very simple tool
Peripheral Vision – or PV – is the stuff that you can see “out of the corner of your eye”. Your eye takes in information over a very wide range (on average, about 135 degrees), but your physical and mental focus tends to be on the things happening in the centre of your vision. That’s where you get most acute vision and it’s where your attention is aimed.
Essentially fight-or-flight consists of three hormones: you should download and read the background explanation about your fight-or-flight response to being threatened here.
In other words, when you’re in a nerve-inducing situation, everything you’re aware of scares you.
What you need, in these situations, is a technique which forces your brain to become more aware of all the other things which are around you and which are not scary, to put the audience/interviewer/whowever (the scary thing) into a better perspective. The video below goes over it quickly.
The Password is PV3.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel “right” first time, that’s perfectly normal. No one I’ve ever taught it to said they liked it immediately.
Fortunately, you don’t need to do this exercise every time you want to use the technique: this is just an exercise to make you aware of things. You can use the PV technique every and any time you want to, simply by choosing to do so. That’s great news.
The unfortunate bad news is that because of the way nerves affect people, the times you’re most likely to need to use this technique is also likely to be the very time when you’re least likely to remember to do so. (See below.)
Some quick tricks to help with the bad news!
One very simple tool we’ve used (successfully) to help with this is to put the letters PV into our notes at various places. It might be on the notes for your first slide or in the corner of an agenda for a meeting. The only hard part about this tool is remembering to use it, so some kind of reminder can be really helpful.