You've got butterflies in your stomach, the cat's got your tongue and you'd rather eat live spiders than speak in front of a group of people (or even a few colleagues) or into the phone during an interview.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
In I'd Rather Eat Live Spiders: A Definitive Guide to Becoming a Successful Speaker, award-winning author and noted public speaker John Feudo discusses the importance of developing good communications skills and then offers a wealth of concrete advice on how to become a better speaker and listener.
Regardless of your age, your occupation or the stage of your career, good communication skills are among your most important assets. Whether you're on the job, at home or at a meeting of your local business or civic organization, you can only be successful if you're able to speak clearly and coherently, listen effectively and think quickly.
The ability to speak well is essential to the advancement professional. "Success in advancement can be directly attributed to our ability to communicate effectively. Whether we're making an ask, inspiring an alumni audience or meeting with campus colleagues, developing strong speaking and listening skills is absolutely essential," says Feudo.
Anyone who needs to communicate to get through the day—from the corporate CEO to the stay-at-home parent—will benefit from the sound advice offered in this book.
Don't let the fear of speaking get in the way of communicating effectively.
Also available as an e-book (PDF format).
John Feudo, a 1982 Boston College graduate, is his alma mater's associate vice president for alumni relations. Feudo, an alumni relations professional for more than 20 years, was the executive director of the University of Connecticut Alumni Association from 1999 until his move to Boston College in 2006.
Feudo studied political science at Boston College. After graduation, he became manager of membership and public relations for Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization based in Santa Ana, Calif. He eventually sought to return to both the East Coast and the higher education environment and was named director of alumni field services at Tufts University in 1988. After five years at Tufts and having earned a master's degree in communication at Lesley University, Feudo was named associate vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, overseeing alumni activities for the state's flagship institution.
In 1999, he was named executive director of UConn's 175,000-member alumni association. While there, he not only reengineered the school's volunteer, reunion and affinity programs, he developed and led a $4.5 million campaign for alumni initiatives and coordinated the design and construction of a $3.7 million alumni center project.
Feudo has taught, lectured and provided training programs at colleges and universities around the United States and has spoken to audiences worldwide.