The Natural Speaker

When I had a free spot in my college schedule, I immediately signed up for a class in public speaking. I am 43 years old and run my own business - and I know I have been hindered in growth and opportunities because of my fear of speaking. Places where I could have networked or built relationships, I was nervous about speaking out. This class - and this book - were my key to improving.

I definitely give kudos to Randy Fujishin for The Natural Speaker. It is not just a book on speaking, but on becoming more comfortable with oneself in general. And really the two are quite related. The more one feels comfortable in their own skin, the more one can present oneself to others without fear.

Yes, the book provides practical advice on crafting speeches. How to lay out a speech that people remember. How to phrase the introduction to catch their attention. How to design a motivational speech that will help draw people onto your side.

He goes into the challenges of public speaking and how to handle them. How to handle that nervous feeling. How to prepare to give yourself the best chance.

And he goes beyond that. Learning to relate to others isn't just about standing at a podium in front of a hundred staring eyeballs. It's also about how to talk eloquently at a networking seminar. It's about how to make the contact and to intrigue with your conversation. It's how to build that comfort level that what you have to say is worth them hearing.

If there's a downside, it's that they seem to make you buy a supplemental online package to be able to see samples of well done videos. After all, the point of this is to learn how to speak verbally to others. It would be good to see it in action. With the ubiquity of YouTube, it would be nice if he pointed out several famous speeches for us to watch for each section, to get a sense of what he's describing. Surely there must be commonly known videos by Kennedy or MLK or other famous people that he could suggest we watch, to get a sense of how a given technique is used.

Still, those would be something most of us could find on our own, once we'd read the text and wanted to learn more.

Well recommended.

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