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In the Spotlight is the Massage (An Inventory of the Effects that Janet Esposito’s, In the Spotlight Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing, Will Have on Your Presentations)—Speaking Book List

by Bill on December 22, 2011 posted in I Just Read a Book Today (Speaking Book Reviews),Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking,Reviews,Speaking

Janet Espostito's In The SpotLight Book Cover

If you dropped in on this blog and get the reference in the title of the post, where did you get your PHD in Communication —The University of Toronto, or The Marshall McLuhan Global Research Network? 🙂

McLuhan, the 20th Century prophet of 21st Century communication said that, “ ‘Our Age of Anxiety’ is, in part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools—with yesterday’s concepts.” My suggestion—Until you saw this post, you might have been unaware of Janet Esposito’s book, In The Spotlight Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing. Now, that you know that Janet’s book exists, it has entered the today of your life. If you fear public speaking, please don’t try to do today’s work with yesterday’s tools and concepts. Please consider using Janet’s book. It’s one of the best resources on overcoming the fear of public speaking that I’ve found.

Janet’s Excellent Book in Three Points

Attempting to summarize Janet’s book in three points is a bit like describing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by talking about three trees, but I will give a micro-summary of her book by highlighting three points anyway:
1. Avoiding the issue of fear of public speaking makes it worse, so—
2. Why not face the fear and improve the quality of our lives? No guts no glory, so stand up to the fear!
3. Here’s great news— There are tools we can use to overcome the fear of public speaking.

One Great Speech Without Anxiety, Does Not Mean That Presentation Anxiety Has Been Banished

When I was in college, I gave an outstanding speech in an Economic Development class. My professor said, “Mr. Boulton’s speech is an example of genius not being revealed until it’s forced on itself.” Several of my classmates asked me if I wanted to become a professional speaker. My head swelled to a size larger than a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon. That speech is one of the happiest moments of my life!

On the day I gave the speech, my public speaking anxiety was on vacation in Vegas or Big Sur or something. I’m glad that my speech anxiety was on vacation, because I needed a healthy boost in self esteem, and I got it. Since that presentation was so charmed though, my ego managed to hide my public speaking anxiety from me for a few decades.

After close to two decades of procrastinating, in 2001 I decided to pursue becoming a professional speaker. My first step was joining Toastmasters. Joining Toastmasters is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Although I hadn’t sharpened my public speaking skills much since college, my public speaking ego was smaller, but it was still the size of a mini Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. Speech anxiety…not me!

Gee—I wish I’d read Janet’s book before these two things happened to me:
1. I got lost in the middle of a speech, while representing my Toastmasters club in the Toastmasters International speech contest!
2. I gave a speech at a conference for aspiring professional speakers with the calmness of a parachuter whose emergency chute has failed.

The great news—These incidents allowed me to realize that the strong speech I gave in my Economic Development class in college did not give me a lifetime vaccination from presentation anxiety. With the denial gone, I’ve learned to use any anxiety I feel before and during my presentations as energy for performing. Janet Esposito’s thoughts on fear and public speaking have helped me much.

Five Plus Key Points From Janet’s Book That Will Help Massage Away Your Presentation Anxiety

1. Accepting any fear is not easy, but it is the only way to overcome it.
2. We should focus on how we can help our audience, not on how our audience views us.
3. We must always work to live completely in the moment, focus on the needs of our audience, and constantly think positive thoughts. This lessens the odds of the fight or flight response being triggered when there is no need for it.
4. Each of us should prepare as much psychologically and physically for our presentations as we do on the material that we will present.
5. Two awesome affirmations Janet uses: a. “I will no longer accept being less than I can be.” b. “I do not serve the world by playing small.”

Are you ready for more public speaking wisdom from Janet Esposito? Great! 🙂 In Part III of my Speaking Husky Teaches Video Series, “Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking,” I will use a few more references from Janet’s book.

Do You Have Any Public Speaking Anxiety?

If you do, here’s my suggestion—Please read and apply the principles in Janet’s book before your get lost while representing your Toastmasters Club in The International Speech Competition! 🙂

Here are a few places that you can learn more from Janet Esposito:

Facebook—Janet Esposito: In the Spotlight



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