Public Speaking Can Be Frightening

Written by Liz Kudwa

Q:  I have to give a presentation to some colleagues at work and I am terrified of public speaking.  Are there any books at the library that will help me?

A:  Public speaking can be frightening, but only if you are unprepared.  It’s a great idea to read up on tips before your presentation.  We have a number of books at the library that will help you through the process of speaking in public.

* Present Like A Pro: The Field Guide To Mastering The Art Of Business, Professional, And Public Speaking By Cyndi Maxey And Kevin E. O’Connor

* The Leader’s Guide To Storytelling: Mastering The Art And Discipline Of Business Narrative by Stephen Denning.

* In The Line Of Fire: How To Handle Tough Questions– When It Counts by Jerry Weissman

* Extraordinary Oral Presentations by Margaret Ryan

* Life Is A Series Of Presentations: 8 Ways To Punch Up Your People Skills At Work, At Home, Anytime, Anywhere by Tony Jeary With Kim Dower And J.E. Fishman

* Public Speaking For Dummies by Malcolm Kushner

* Speak Without Fear: A Total System For Becoming A Natural, Confident Communicator by Ivy Naistadt

   Additionally there is a local group called Toastmasters that helps people get over their fear of speaking in public.  By participating in a Toastmasters group, you’ll learn public speaking techniques and gain confidence.  There are several local Toastmaster chapters in the area.  The Capitol City Club meets Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Capital Area District Library.  You can visit their website at http://www.capitalcitytoastmasters.com for more details or call at (517) 775-2697.

Q:  With the holidays approaching, I am starting to worry about having enough money to pay for gifts.  Do you have any suggestions on holiday spending tips?

A:  I found some great tips from the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation.  They had a great document called "Manage Your Holiday Spending" which can be viewed at http://www.afsaef.org/images/ACF5761.pdf.  If you’d rather call them for more information they can be reached by Telephone: 202-296-5544.   I included their tip list below for you.

SAVE IN ADVANCE – It sounds simple – and it is – you must discipline yourself to save a few dollars from each paycheck during the year. If you aren’t disciplined enough to save regularly on your own, consider joining an interest paying holiday savings club at your bank or credit union.

MOONLIGHT – A great way to earn extra spending money in time for the holidays is to take on a part-time job for a couple months or working overtime.  Even better, work a little extra here and there throughout the year, saving most, if not all, for holiday expenses.

DRAW NAMES – If your list of family and friends is long, suggest this approach to gift giving.

CONSIDER ON-LINE OR CATALOG SHOPPING – Many find that catalog or online shopping helps them stick to a budget since they’re not seduced by the million choices available in stores. However, shipping charges will need to be included in your budget. An added advantage is shopping from home and avoiding crowds.

ALLOW TIME FOR PLANNING AND COMPARISON SHOPPING – Keep your budget in mind and shop carefully to get the best selection and price.

BORROW WISELY – Credit cards and loans are frequently used to make up for the lack of holiday cash. Both allow you to repay the amount owed over a period of time, although you pay for this advantage in finance charges. Remember to budget for the credit card and/or loan payments you’ll have to make.

BUDGET FOR PURCHASES – Use a holiday budget chart to keep track of who’s on your shopping list, how much you’ve budgeted, gift ideas, and estimated expenses.

TAKE ADVANTAGES OF SEASONAL BARGAINS – Many stores begin their year-end sales during the holiday season. Be alert for bargains, especially if bad weather causes sales to be slow.

Additionally, the Capital Area District Library and NuUnion Credit Union will be holding a Holiday Budget and Craft Tips program at the Holt-Delhi Library on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00 pm.  Holiday budget tips will be discussed and then suggestions for affordable craft ideas will be provided.  Each attendee will get to choose a craft to make and take home.  To register, contact NuUnion Credit Union at 517-267-7171.

Elizabeth Kudwa  is the Business Reference Librarian at the Capital Area District Library located at 401 S. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.  Contact her at 517-334-1522 or by e-mail at kudwae@cadl.org.