This practical guide will share concise methods to overcome anxiety, relate to any audience, develop an effective presentation, make your message count, and stir emotion. The tips and techniques are bite-sized nuggets that will resonate with speakers of all levels—from those wanting to survive a speech to professionals needing reinforcement to hone their craft. Building off the fundamentals of public speaking and presentation skills, this guide offers a practicality that will stand the test of time. Readers will see that effective public speaking has more to do with confidence than communication skills. Public speaking is everywhere, not just at a podium, and successful public speaking skills can be developed with easy-to-follow steps. Readers will find that their own success, both personal and professional, is directly related to their ability to communicate effectively. Using personal examples of his triumphs and lessons learned, Tom shares his journey to get past the emotion of fear that has gripped everyone at some time in their lives when they stared into a crowd. The techniques included will build the confidence to not just survive one moment, but teach you to play to your own strengths and enjoy a lifetime of effective communication, strong leadership, and lasting personal relationships. Most people already have the groundwork to be a great public speaker. From Fear to Success maneuvers past your trepidations into a new world of self-assurance to build upon this foundation.
How did you decide to create a trailer and what was your experience?
YouTube is a great medium to get the word out. It brings the context alive beyond a title and summary. The experience was interesting in discussing how it went from a concept to an actual edited piece. Although I differed in opinions with the filmmaker, we landed in a great spot.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I found in my research of public-speaking books, that they often were highly academic, meaning focusing on the inner workings of what might be going on in your head and body. The scientific terminology made it difficult for people who simply wanted to get straight to the solution and actions needed. I’ve even read books in this genre who mentioned taking medication to calm you down. Unfortunately, this solves the short-term issue, but does not teach people that the solution is possible with some preparation. The long-term solution actually leads to the enjoyment of public-speaking. Knowing the complaints that nobody has time for anything today, even their own development. I was inspired to write a book to get people over something that is referred to as being worse than death. My approach is very simple and lays out methods that speakers of all levels will be able to implement.
Tom has more than 23 years of experience in the financial industry in management and leadership roles, and runs his own business, Thomas Dowd Professional Development & Coaching, LLC. As a speaker, author, trainer and coach, he helps people creatively find ways to differentiate themselves in the workplace and to find their individual paths toward success. The company tagline is: “Transform into who you really want to be professionally.”
Starting in 2008, Tom was the vice president of education for Dirigo Toastmasters Club in Belfast. He is now a member of the Kennebec Valley Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters International is a supportive learning environment of more than 270,000 members worldwide looking to improve communication and leadership skills. Tom holds advanced communication and advanced leadership certifications with Toastmasters International, including High Performance Leadership certification. In November 2011, Tom was selected as the District 45 Toastmaster of Year, which represents more than 100 clubs in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and the three Eastern Canadian Provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Tom has also exhibited consistent success when competing at the division (state level equivalent) and district levels in Toastmasters speech contests, which include humorous, inspirational, impromptu and evaluation events. He is the two-time reigning Table Topics (Impromptu) District 45 Champion (2012 & 2013).
Tom developed a series of management presentations into a speaking program called “Powerful Professional Transformation: Unleashing Leadership.” The speaking engagements turned into his first two books. Published in September 2012, both books have since garnered recognition in the business field. “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World,” a book detailing Tom’s own professional growth based on lessons learned in his career, received honorable mention in the business category at the 2012 New England Book Festival (available in softcover, e-Book), while “From Fear to Success: a Practical Public Speaking Guide” received the Gold Medal in the Business Reference category at the 2013 Axiom Book Awards, Honorable Mention at the 2013 New York Book Festival, and Honorable Mention at the 2013 Paris Book Festival. “Fear” is available in softcover, e-Book, and audiobook.
Tom graduated from the University of Delaware in 1990 with a Communication degree, concentrating on interpersonal and organizational communication.