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Linda Ugelow
Delight In The Limelight
Linda Ugelow, author
Yes, you can learn to love the spotlight. Why do some of us gladly step forward while others shy away from the camera or public speaking, despite having something to say? If you’ve ever watched others take the stage—on video, at conferences, in meetings, or even at your sister’s wedding—and yearned for the confidence to do the same—you can. In this transformational guide, speaking coach Linda Ugelow delivers a holistic methodology that gets to the root of what’s stopping you from sharing your voice. Through powerful exercises and real-life stories of conquering performance nerves (including her own), Ugelow shows you how to free yourself from the anxieties and psychological roadblocks that are holding you back, and actually learn to enjoy the limelight. You’ll also learn exactly how to effectively prepare for speaking opportunities; how to memorize effectively; how to finally eliminate your use of filler words (like “um” or “right?”); and how to smoothly navigate slip-ups in front of an audience. This isn’t a book about “feeling the fear and doing it anyway,” it’s about shedding that fear, loving yourself, and embracing opportunities to shine brightly. Whether your audience is online, in the boardroom, in a theatre, or in the workplace, your journey to full self-expression begins here.
In this conversational, inspiring debut, Ugelow draws on her depth of experience as a professional speaker and speaking coach to craft a guide for transforming public speaking skill. She probes readers about why they may have negative feelings around speaking in front of others, noting “we are the way we are for real reasons” and offering advice for how to face our own inner critics. From there, she details strategies for cultivating a “particular kind of experience,” both mentally and physically, to help her succeed in all types of speaking scenarios. There are tips for pre-speaking routines, mindful meditations, meaningful visualizations, and better life practices to encourage confidence and relaxation so that one doesn’t “give up on your dream because you are afraid to be seen.”

Ugelow employs the second-person, speaking directly to readers in the voice of an encouraging, empathetic coach. She emphasizes flexibility, finding what works for individual readers, offering many different solutions for all manners of speaking problems, from ancient movement practices to speech/sound exploration, to tried methods of memorization, because “the process itself is empowering.” Preparation goes beyond that, of course, and Ugelow faces the fact truth at some point all speakers will have to “wing it,” and urges readers to find an “Embodied Connection”: “look inward for somatic and energetic connection to yourself, and then outward for this same connection but with your audience.”

Readers may find some of that phrasing a bit eccentric, but her fuller explanations are clear, inviting, and practical. Through her on-point stories, her emphasis on individual readers seizing hold of what works best for them, and her patient, carefully crafted advice, Ugelow’s book forges one of those “Embodied Connection”s with readers, who by the end will not just find public speaking demystified and likely less frightening–they’ll likely feel they have a coach in their corner.

Takeaway: This guide to facing down fears to become a more polished public speaker emphasizes confidence and individuality.

Great for fans of: Carmine Gallo’s Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, Susan Cain’s Quiet.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B