Thursday, June 25, 2015

4 unusual books for tackling your public speaking fears

There are loads of books targeting public speaking fear head-on. But I like a slightly different, off-center approach, without the usual suspects. Here are three currently available books I share with clients who are nervous, anxious, or fearful of public speaking, along with a much-anticipated fourth option:
  1. Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking is a book I was given when learning to make art. Not unlike other forms of performance, making art requires you to be brave enough to express yourself, then show that to one person, then get useful critique from a teacher or peer, then put it on public display, then charge for it. Each step has its perils and rewards...and don't they sound a lot like what speakers do? A great short read.
  2. V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone is Seth Godin's picture book (the A for anxiety is shown above), and while he's hoping to inspire public-facing marketers and entrepreneurs, again, there's much in common with public speaking here, among the most vulnerable of exercises.
  3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain's best-seller, will remind you that part of your hesitation about speaking may be introversion rather than fear. But as public speaking is one of her fears, and well-covered in this book, you'll get the nuances and differences here, too.
  4. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges from social psychologist Amy Cuddy--the woman who made "power posing" a famous tactic for boosting confidence--is now available for pre-order. I'm so looking forward to a book by this great speaker and researcher, whose TED talk on power posing is now the second-most-watched TED talk ever.
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