Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Presentations and public speaking

I read some survey a while back that said that the biggest fear that people have at work is about having to stand up in front of others and give a presentation.

It's something that I can really identify with. Nowadays I'm fairly happy to speak to large groups of people (for example, I was speaking to 1500 graduands and their guests a few weeks ago). But I remember that I used to be so terrified of having to speak even in front of my class mates at school that I'd make up excuses to get out of it. And even when I started my first job, I was so nervous about having to speak in front of a handful of colleagues or clients that I'd feel this rising feeling of sickness in my throat. Trust me, it wasn't pleasant.

But I wanted to get better at presenting and public speaking, so I've worked at it. Lots of preparation and rehearsing, and using some psychological techniques to cope with anxiety.

So now to the present day.

My latest book (I think it's my 13th - but can't remember and can't really be bothered to go count the number of books I've written) just came out last week. Presentations and Public Speaking for Dummies is actually my first collaborative work - I wrote it in conjunction with an American business speaker and writer called Malcolm Kushner. And it's not a bad book (even if I do say so myself!)