How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

Book Review: How to Own the Room by Viv Groskop

Each month, we’re sharing a resource that offers tangible, actionable strategies and principles to help you raise your visibility, maximize your impact and grow your personal brand through speaking. This month’s resource is How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking by Viv Groskop.

One of the best ways to grow as a speaker is by learning from others. Not only is there much to learn from others, but surrounding yourself with examples of confident impact is inspiring and empowering. And grows your confidence as well.

This book is interesting in that it’s hard to find. For real. I’ve linked to the hard copy on Amazon above. But when I looked for it after hearing it mentioned on a podcast several months ago, I had to order a used copy on eBay. When was the last time you searched for a book on Amazon and not found it??

Lucky for us, it was worth the extra digging to unearth a treasure of public speaking wisdom specifically for women. I was hooked on page 20 when I saw in print something I’ve seen over and over and said myself numerous times:

“I’ve lost count of the number of women who’ve told me they’ve turned down invitations to speak on panels or give a keynote or take part in a media appearance on television or radio because they ‘didn’t feel ready’ or they ‘might look stupid’ or because ‘I’m sure they can find someone better’.”

Viv Groskop

At its core, the mission of SpeakHer Coach is to help more women say yes.

The book offers invaluable guidance for women looking to improve your public speaking skills. Drawing upon her experience as a comedian, writer, and public speaker, Viv covers a range of essential topics, from conquering stage fright to crafting compelling stories. The book is a treasure trove of practical advice and motivational insights that empower women to excel in any speaking situation.

Major Themes

Confidence: One of the central themes of the book is building and displaying confidence. Confidence is not only about feeling it but also about projecting it. The book’s filled with techniques to bolster your self-confidence, overcome imposter syndrome and communicate with authority and captivate your audience.

Authenticity: Groskop encourages women to be authentic and genuine. She underscores the importance of embracing your unique voice, personality and experiences. When you speak authentically, your connection with the audience becomes stronger, leading to more engaging, compelling and impactful presentations.

Storytelling: Effective storytelling is a superpower when it comes to public speaking. Groskop delves into the art of crafting compelling stories that capture the audience’s attention, convey messages effectively and leave a lasting impact. She shares specific strategies for structuring stories, using anecdotes and incorporating humor.

Preparation: Adequate prep is essential for confident and effective public speaking. The book covers techniques for thorough research, organizing your content and practicing effectively. By being well-prepared, you’re able to handle unexpected challenges and maintain confidence during your presentation.

Stage Presence: Viv highlights the significance of owning the stage. She covers the physical aspects of speaking, such as body language, eye contact and voice modulation. By mastering these elements, you can create a commanding presence that captivates your audience.

Fear Management: Overcoming stage fright is a crucial aspect of public speaking. The book covers specific strategies to manage anxiety, control nerves and turn that nervous energy into a positive force that fuels your commitment and enhances your presentation.

Engaging Openings and Closings: The book emphasizes the importance of starting strong and ending in a way that lasts. Groskop offers techniques for grabbing your audience’s attention from the beginning and leaving them with a powerful takeaway.

Actionable Takeaways from How to Own the Room

Practice Regularly: Invest the time to practice your speaking skills. Whether you’re in front of a mirror, with a friend or recording yourself, consistent practice paves the way for improvement and mastery.

Embrace Vulnerability: Lean in to share personal anecdotes and reveal a bit of vulnerability. This helps you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Connect with the Audience: Take the time to understand your audience’s needs, interests, and expectations. Tailor your content to resonate with them, and engage in genuine interactions during your presentation.

Body Language Matters: Pay attention to your body language. Maintain eye contact, stand confidently, and use gestures that enhance your message.

Feedback and Improvement: Seek constructive feedback after your presentations. Continuously work to improve by learning from your experiences.

In How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brillliant Speaking, Viv Groskop empowers women to be confident, authentic and engaging speakers. By mastering the principles outlined in the book and putting them into practice, you can transform you public speaking abilities, maximize your impact and build your personal brand more effectively and with greater impact.

If you’re digging How to Own the Room and Viv Groskop’s message and insight, you may want to check out her podcast. It’s called Happy High Status: the Podcast about Effortless Confidence. She interviews courageous women making a brave difference in the world. Check it out.

If you’d like to spend more time learning from masterful communicators, check out these speech breakdowns.

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