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"Present" Yourself In Public Speaking: Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to SPEAK UP! Paperback – January 24, 2017
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About the Author
Mary Cheyne (pronounced “sheen”), MBA, was once a self-conscious public speaker and communicator. She has spent the past 15 years learning and mastering effective communication skills. In 2009, she competed in the World Championship of Public Speaking and out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries, she placed second. Mary’s communications accolades have been featured in The Boston Globe, The World Journal, as well as TV and radio interviews. She is also the co-author of the book The Change 8 with Jim Britt, Tony Robbin’s first mentor on the topic of conscious communication. Now Mary is a professional speaker and trainer. She has trained over 15,000 people in over 25 cities around the world and has coached hundreds of individuals on how to become better public speakers and communicators. As president of Magnetic Podium, LLC, her own training and communications company, she teaches people to communicate clearly both in front of audiences as well as in personal conversations at corporations and organizations. She also teaches communications-related classes at Northeastern University in Boston. Mary was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Sydney, Australia, and moved to the United States in 2001. She lives in Boston with her husband and three-year-old son. Find out more at www.MagneticPodium.com
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Mary Cheyne sprinkles encouragement and quotes mixed in with how she started- not just where she is today. She doesn't sugarcoat anything- you have to put in the work. Her insights were invaluable, practical, and implementable; this one being one of my favorites:
"Don't be so set on projecting an invulnerable persona of yourself for your audience. Paradoxically, its when you reveal your struggles and how you overcome them that you become more relatable to the audience."
If you're thinking about pursuing public speaking or want to improve the ones you do, read this book.
As Mary states "ninety-nine percent of public speaking books only address mechanics in the effort to show participants to improve their public speaking, And, yes, the mechanics of public speaking ... are very crucial in superb public speaking. But - as you'll learn more fully in this book - the mechanics are only half the picture of public speaking."
What really makes this book special is Mary's willingness to be vulnerable. Instead of the attitude of "here is how I made my first million as a public speaker," Mary addresses the insecurities and fears that we public speakers all have.
And, as with most books, it is the personal stories that she tells that are most memorable and provide the most impact.
For example, in telling us how to respond to the negative feedback all of us public speakers receive, Mary recounts a time when she was particularly low that "a man in his 30s, wearing a shirt and khaki pants, projected his voice loudly and announced with great gusto - and I quote - 'You have no content.'" Not only was that comment delivered with no tact, but it was also not constructive."
Yet, several weeks later, Mary presented that same speech to place second in the 2009 World Championship of Public Speaking!
In my work training public speakers, I have found that how you view your public speaking skills can be reflected in how you think of other areas of your life. (Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I attractive enough?) The holistic approach to public speaking training that Mary uses is so refreshing and beneficial, that using the methods that she teaches, you will be able to transform other areas of your life.
Mary’s book reads much like a conversation between good friends. Her life story unfolds in a humorous and heartwarming journey, that will keep you interested and learning throughout.
“Confidence comes from being comfortable with being uncomfortable;” learning to recognize our own ‘critics voice’- acknowledging it - and understanding how to dismantle it, by re-framing our limiting self-beliefs, which can render us powerless. Mary teaches us, in-depth, how we can transcend our insecurities and how empowering it can be - by changing our focus from ourselves - to those we are serving.
Mary delves into the science behind our minds by using the works of Molecular biologist; Dr. John Medina’s book, “Brian Rules” where he explains how emotionally charged incidents release dopamine enlisting our memories to recall it like a post-it note. We teach our brain what to recall whenever we utilize our critic’s voice. Once we stop allowing our own thoughts to devalue our strengths; only then can we recognize our significance - and be empowered to serve others by sharing our story!
Being true to ourselves takes practice and a growth mindset to develop the skills one needs to focus on understanding and trusting oneself. To become fully present and connect with the audience; we must no longer be afraid of judgement by the audience, but become empowered by the acceptance of understanding – that the gift we have to share with our audience is far more valuable than our fears.
Mary’s book has inspired me to never stop learning, reading, and expanding my mind. She has given me hope and insight into why I recoil back into old habits and how to break them. Mary has most genuinely inspired me to continually reach for my goals through perseverance, developing good habits, and building trust in myself…and if I wish to tell my story, Mary offers ideas on where to practice speaking; reaching beyond my fears is going to take practice, practice, practice!
I’m glad that I purchased Mary’s book and will be referring back to it when I need a word of encouragement, as Mary’s words inspire me likened to a conversation with a long-time friend.