Summary of Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

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  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Are you afraid of public speaking? Millions of people share this phobia, but there’s help. Noted professional public speaker and coach Michael J. Gelb offers eight transformational “secrets” that will fuel your comfort and success as a public speaker. To start, he helps you develop the “clarity and presence” he identifies as essential requirements for all quality presentations. He also illustrates his eight public-speaking lessons with engaging and enlightening stories from his experience of presenting to large and small audiences, so you can share his perceptions from the podium until you're ready to stand there yourself.

About the Author

Michael J. Gelb served as an executive leadership and presentation coach for major international corporations. He teaches at the Gabelli School of Business in New York City and at the London Business School.



Many people fear public speaking, but you can follow eight steps to turn your fear into positive energy and become a great speaker.

The headline of a recent article in London’s Times newspaper proclaimed: “Speaking in Public Is Worse Than Death for Most.” The article covers a scientific survey indicating that people fear public speaking more than they fear death.

The technical term for fear of public speaking is “glossophobia.” The National Institute of Mental Health reports that nearly three-quarters of Americans suffer this fear. Expert Glenn Croston claims that glossophobia is actually a fear of rejection or ostracism. Being afraid of public speaking can have substantial consequences in today’s interconnected world. Being unable to speak well can damage your career path and hamper your personal growth. 

This fear often causes people to avoid public speaking. And when they must speak, they grip the podium, stare at the audience in panic and recite their remarks in a rushed monotone. If public speaking scares you, accept that it’s all right to feel this...

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