Best Public Speaking Training in 2023
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds
Ted Talks and Talk Like TED 2 Books Collection set (TED Talks: The official TED guide to public speaking ,Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds)
- TED Talks: The official TED guide to public speaking By Chris Anderson - 1328710289 9781328710284
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds By Carmine Gallo - 1250061539 9781250061539
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PUBLIC SPEAKING - Speaking like a Professional: How to become a better speaker, present yourself convincingly and increase your self-confidence through successful communication
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I Conquered Stage Fright and Fear of Public Speaking in a Most Unusual Way...Art Class
Getting beyond extreme shyness to become a (reluctant) art class model was the best personal and professional growth development thing I've ever done, albeit inadvertently. My stage fright transformed into a calm and comfortable me on stage ever since.
Getting beyond an overwhelming, petrifying level of stage fright during that first high-anxiety laden Lights, Camera, Action moment up there Front and Center was a whole 'nother obstacle for me.
According to WebMD, the first step to overcoming performance anxiety is to "accept yourself for who you are", imperfections and all. Sure, try telling that to a zit-faced, greasy-haired teenager -- much less my average, Plain Jane, ho-hum, all grown up timid self. Getting comfortable in my own imperfect skin was the last step I mastered, inadvertently, in art class.
Toastmasters (dropout), along with scads of professional and management development (aka charm school) training...like Stress Management...Self-talk for Success...Visualize Your Journey to Victory...ad nauseum, were great...for everything except those up Front and Center paralyzing first moments on stage.
Overcoming stage fright is all about managing those instinctive "Flight or Fight" reactions when stressed according to WebMD...well, more like a "Frozen" deer caught in the headlights reaction for me. A local non-profit city art league was an inadvertent facilitator for reaching my adult self-comfort zone - far from the painful shyness I experienced since early childhood.
How Extreme Was My Shyness?
In pink tutu back stage for a ballet recital in kindergarten, I froze in place. A head taller than everyone else in my age group, I stuck out. Something about the cutesy prissing around to a Betty Boop tune, just felt singularly stupid. The "boop-boop-be-doop" line was the deal breaker. I didn't go on.
A sea of strangers' staring eyes propelled my first-grade self into a dive-and-hide under the desk when the teacher called my name during roll call the first week of school. We were supposed to stand up and say, "Present," ...but they were all looking at me!
Called up first, by an astoundingly unperceptive teacher, for an oral book report in third grade petrified my painfully shy self completely mute up there in front of the class that day...I knew I shoulda stayed home and played sick! Yep, I was a wimpy kid hiding behind my Mommy's skirts.
Progress in the Chorus Line
A wonderfully perceptive fourth grade teacher cast my bashful shelf as Granny Clampett in a class TV show skit assignment. Dressed up in colonial dress and white powdered bunned hair, I made my entrance running into the room, jumping up and down, and yelling "Jed, Jed...," and all. The surprise hit of the kid-made show, the whole class laughed for what seemed like hours!
I was just fine on stage in a fifth grade chorus line of dancing toy dolls for the school's Christmas Spectacular show, too. No problem on stage with the high school band, either. Group performance worked well for me, yet I'd still freeze for solo moments.
Getting the Art Class Gig
A friend referred me to fill in for her at the last minute when she got sick. I had one day notice and wondered - why ask me? Svelte beauty queen I was not. Fit but flabby in the usual places, upper thighs, slight belly, and not super-model-thin-skinny nor with athletically-toned-muscles nor with be-chiseled face. My friend explained that figure drawing classes don't always want model types, sometimes they want regular people.
I took the job. It paid $50 cash for one and a half hours worth of posing and I desperately needed it. I'd quit my day job, opened a small retail shop, and was working after-hours, odd jobs until the shop made enough to draw a salary from. And, really, how hard could it be?
I'd learned to stand at attention for uniform inspections in my high school's marching band for an hour, and then some, while holding an instrument in Florida in the afternoon heat. Posing for 20 minutes in street clothes inside an art studio seemed like a breeze.
A phone call to the art league coordinator to confirm revealed the nature of the gig. When asked if there was anything in particular I should wear, "anything you want to, but bring a bathrobe" she chuckled. Huh, what the...?
My friend claimed that she'd thought I knew. Uh-huh, sure she did. After I'd declined the gig to the coordinator, she cajoled me into it explaing that it was a small group of mostly retirees and there wouldn't be any sleazy poses and such. They were retired professional or semi-professional artists and, much like doctors, had seen so many naked bodies that it just wasn't a source of cheap thrills or anything like that.
I needed the bucks, so warily I went along - bathrobe in tow.
Before and After
Before the vogueing session, I would have said that my best feature was my hair. And after? The high arch slope of my feet. Who'd a thunk it - I could've been a foot model!
I've been quite comfortable in my own skin since then and don't much care about being stared at anymore - whether presenting or performing in front of large or small groups, alone or not. Hey -- I've got my clothes on, they can look at me all they want!
There's nothing like wearing nothing to a Figure Drawing art class to overcome performance anxiety, stage fright, and fear of public speaking!
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