Speaking Up without Freaking Out, by Matthew Abrahams, is an easy-to-read book of 35 anxiety management techniques that are based on scientifically supported theory and evidence. Readers are encouraged to explore the anxiety management tools through specific “Try This” guidance provided for each technique. After reading this book, readers will be more confident, calm, and competent speakers.
The book begins with an explanation of public speaking anxiety -- its origins and manifestations. Next, the specific management techniques are delineated, organized around the theories that spawned them. Then, readers are provided with advice on three common pitfalls that often intensify speaking anxiety. Finally, readers are given suggestions and examples of how to find the right techniques for them. The book also includes public speaking anxiety management advice to non-native English speakers.
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If you’ve ever felt nervous, doubtful, or insecure about giving presentations or speeches, this pocket book is for you. It provides you with easy-to-use techniques for managing presentation anxiety, whether your audience is composed of coworkers, prospective clients, fellow students, or family and friends.This book was born out of frustration. For decades, psychologists, biologists, and communication researchers have documented and detailed strategies and techniques for addressing speaking anxiety. However, much of this work remains locked away in academic journals. Further, techniques that do escape to a wider audience via public speaking or business communication textbooks are often insufficient. These tests present what I refer to as the “PB & J” approach to speaking anxiety management: “Practice, Breath, and Just do it.” Although these suggestions have some validity, speaking anxiety involves a complicated mix of physiological and psychological factors. Simplistic “PB & J” advice is not likely to help. Worse, it could even increase anxiety if the suggestions are attempted without immediately successful results.I hope to remedy this lack of actionable information by providing at least 35 tried and tested anxiety management techniques that you can easily use. Most of the techniques detailed here are based on academic research and have been shown to be effective. As you read this book, you will be able to stockpile several techniques that will help you feel more confident about your presentations. Your end goal: speaking up without freaking out!