As he discussed the issue with other Auctioneers, he realized that
proper breathing training and awareness of breathing was lacking, so he
combined the science with his background as a trained professional
singer as well as his experience with yoga to incorporate breathing
instruction into his class – it will be offered at Conference & Show
in July and Designation Academy in December. In turn, class attendees
often consider the lesson a game-changer. For instance, auctioneer
Stephanie Huisman says that the breathing portion of Luke’s class has
been critical to her focus and public speaking capabilities. After
spending 12 years in auto auctions, she now rings for Bobby D. Ehlert’s
charity auctions in Phoenix, Arizona.
“If you knew me years ago, you would not think I am the person doing
that now,” she says. “But after taking Tim’s class and going through the
breathing instruction, I can now stand in front of a group of people
and speak with confidence,” Huisman says.
Luke boils down the research behind it all.
“Breathing calms the nerves, and calming your nerves leads to confidence
– it’s that simple. And once you have confidence, you can get past
yourself, trust yourself, center yourself and put your best self forward
and be more effective in your communications.” he says. “We think
confidence and success are tied to all these things, but really, to
address the root of the issue, we simply need to trust and follow the
science on breathing.”
He explains the physiology: Proper breathing lowers cortisol – the
stress hormone – and increases testosterone, which is the hormone tied
to confidence. And when the hormones don’t follow those directions, an
adverse chain reaction ensues.
“When your breathing is cut off, the nerves kick in, you get dry mouth
and sweaty palms, your brain gets fogged, and you can’t think,” Luke
explains. “Just as proper breathing can lead to success, not breathing
has major implications. The results are just as major if you are or
During Luke’s class, attendees participate in breathing exercises and
practice proper breathing. It’s common for people to assume they are
breathing correctly, when in reality, they are not, Luke has found. For
example, chest breathing, which creates shallow breathing, doesn’t
supply the body with enough oxygen. Low, deep breathing from the belly
is the most effective for reducing stress.
“In auction school, we’re always told to breathe from our diaphragm, but
there can be a disconnect between hearing that and understanding what
it means in practice,” Luke says.
Also, as science tells us, nose-breathing is better than mouth-breathing.
“The mouth is for eating, and the nose is for breathing,” he says.
He emphasizes breathing’s effect on crucial bodily functions. Breathing
allows lungs to work with the heart as it feeds the brain, and muscles
need oxygen to work. Proper breathing can bring down blood pressure and
improve digestion and relaxation.
“This simple thing is very powerful,” Luke says.
It’s important to pay attention to your breathing, Luke stresses. In his
class, after attendees perform breathing exercises, they monitor how
many breaths they take in a minute and how long they can sustain a
This awareness then plays out in situations such as selling, conversing
with co-workers and communicating in personal relationships.
“If in what could potentially be a stressful situation, you can remind
yourself to pause and take a deep breath, that can go a long way, and
you’ll be about to truly listen and respond well,” he says. If you can
stop and back up to the root of the problem and pause to remember that
the best way to battle nerves is through breathing, that’s probably the
best secret weapon for confidence.”