I've always been shy and socially anxious, and although I overcame my fears with therapy a few years ago, I picked up this book to see if there were any techniques I could still use -- and yes, there were! Acker uses his own experiences as a newbie presenter to now an experienced and successful speaking coach and helps his readers become masters of the stage. I can't recommend this book enough!
The book contain lot of actionable exercises and strategies and tons of anecdotes for overcoming public speaking. It starts with developing a new mindset for belief system in becoming a great speaker , because doubt erodes confidence - "We are what we believe we are" . Author narrates his own story of how he manage his fear and how he transformed into orator.It's all about changing the perspective, invest in preparation and practice. He outlines 7 strategies and practice exercises under each strategy in a more logical fashion. He recommends the reader that after reading book fully , block the calender for 1 hour each day for practicing each strategy for a week and repeat if needed. 7 strategies mentioned in the book are : 1. Uncover and clean the wound - How to uncover and clean the speaking wound - the bad experiences that etch their way into our mind and stay on subconscious level - "When past pain no longer defines you, present fear begin to erase". 2. Imagine the worst - Experiencing anxiety beforehand reduce the anxiety. Right kind of practice - mentally, physically and emotionally prepares for the actual moment. "Imagine the worst so you can prepare to combat the emotions with proper perspective". 3.You be You - Best speakers prepare their content and use their unique personhood to get their meaning across. Dont try to be someone else - Be avatar of real self. 4. Speak to one - Think like speaking to person not to the crowd. "Perception affects the reflection - Your feeling towards the audience affect how they feel towards you" 5. It's not about you - People do not think about speaker they think only about themselves, so there is nothing to self-conscious while speaking. 6. Channel the power - Don't get rid of nervousness but learn to channel negative stress into positive energy. "When you are down pick something up" 7. Be in the moment - This the moment that matters - not ahead, not behind , be right there. Right now speaking with no fear is the priority . In life, we get so busy wanting to be somewhere else that we forget to be where we are.