4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever found yourself heavily sweating when you needed to give a speech? I have had this experience multiple times. I remember the first time I was asked to do a song solo. I was so nervous that I wasn't only sweating in the air-conditioned room, I was singing flat and annoyingly off-key. Maybe, if I read The Fear Doctor by Vincent Stevenson, I would have had a better outing.
Vincent is an experienced public speaker, and he has seen all the dynamics of public speaking. With a career spanning over thirty-five years, he has so much to bring to the table. He does an excellent job of putting together a book that helps aspiring and professional public speakers deal with the fear and anxiety that comes with the job. This is a two-part book that teaches both the theoretical and practical aspects of public speaking. In the first part, the author takes the time to deal with the internal battles anyone who does any form of public presentation faces. The second part of the book was more practical as the author takes the reader through a series of exercises, which I will elaborate better in the latter part of this review.
I would recommend this book to people who do public speaking as a career. However, the teachings embedded in it would benefit everyone as we've always been faced with situations where confidence was required to deliver. These situations could be asking your crush out on a date, making an orchestral performance, or presenting a multi-million dollar project proposal to a board of executives.
What I liked most was the conversational writing style the author adopted. There was a sense of calmness and relaxation I felt while reading the book. It was apparent that Vincent had mastered the art of communicating his thoughts in the friendliest way possible. Additionally, the explanations of some concepts were simplistic. I enjoyed his views on the universal laws of public speaking. There was no jargon in the narrative. Hence, the reader wouldn't be overwhelmed by the complexities and technicalities of public speaking. This book was a simple and exciting read.
I liked the practical aspect of this book. There were exercises to help the reader get the hang of the technicalities and theatrics of public speaking. One essential exercise was practicing public speaking to yourself. This involved asking yourself a series of questions to get acquainted with every scenario you'd encounter. Other exercises included posture, breathing, and relaxation. The reader wouldn't be left to themselves, as diagrams were used to illustrate the exercises' effects. The author also provided links to video resources that'd help the reader with vocal preparations.
This was a well-written book that enjoyed professional editing. I have no reason to not give it 4 out of 4 stars.
The Fear Doctor
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