Written by a lady who was once too afraid to speak before an audience, this book is a practical guide to conquering stage fright and/or nervousness. As a little girl, Ivy always wanted to sing and dance. However, her Mum, a professional violinist, insisted that she learn an instrument. Her motto was simple; ‘Practice or no play time!’ Thus, Ivy would practice at her cello religiously, albeit halfheartedly.
One night as she and her Mum were watching a variety show on television, Ivy was in awe of the lead vocalist. Suddenly, her Mum got up and switched off the TV. When little Ivy asked why, her mother’s response was swift and curt; ‘Because singers look stupid with their mouths open.’ These words would leave an indelible ink on Ivy’s cranium and thus on her self worth. They’d end up affecting her professionally. It’s in hindsight that she learned an all important lesson;
“Messages sent to us in the past by significant people in our lives, whether intentional or unintentional, can leave lasting impressions.”
Ivy, while working as a corporate spokesperson, pitching different services for different companies, was ironically fearless. She’d charm any size of crowd. She then learned another important lesson. That whereas when acting or singing, she had to ‘perform’, when being a spokesperson, she was her authentic self! Soon, she was being hired by companies to give seminars on speaking without fear to their managers and staff at business conferences.
Drawing from personal, first-hand experiences, she gives a pragmatic and detailed guide to speaking without fear. For example, do you know there are different categories of ‘Nervousness Profiles?’ Namely;
- Avoiders- These are people who have so much anxiety associated with speaking or communicating in any formal setting that they will go to almost any length to avoid being put in a situation that demands it. They may even give up promotions or pass up job opportunities to avoid the spotlight.
- Anticipators- These are people who start getting nervous as soon as they hear a speech, presentation, or a job interview is scheduled. Whether the event is three weeks or three months away, this category of people will spend every waking time until then worrying about what can, may or will occur.
- Adrenalizers- These are people who become nervous just before the event and are suddenly hit with a surge of energy that must be dealt with, like a track star gearing up for a race who controls the surge of excess energy with focusing techniques as a way of getting ready to meet the challenges ahead.
- Improvisers- These are people who get nervous during the event because they are the last-minute type who either put of preparing or spend no time preparing, then typically run into all kinds of trouble that might easily have been avoided with just a little preparation.
This is a wonderful book that will help anyone trying to overcome nervousness or stage fright, to overcome and own the stage!
Review by AURA BILLY OSOGO