Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice

Essential Speaking by Doreen DowningMany people are crippled in their personal and professional lives by a deep fear of public speaking.

There are those who avoid leadership roles at work, cower in group settings, and can’t seem to put their feelings and ideas into words—even with loved ones. As a result, their true potential remains unrealized.

As a Psychologist, Founder of Essential Speaking, and Training Director for Speaking Circles® International, I once suffered from stage fright. I set out to conquer my fear and discovered…being centered in one’s true self is the key to relaxed and confident public speaking.

Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice takes you beyond scripts and techniques, the mainstays of conventional public speaking classes.

By following the 7 practical steps outlined in my book, you will learn to: 

  • Speak without fear in any situation
  • Be fully present in front of groups
  • Create real connection with listeners
  • Access your wise inner voice
  • Live a full and authentic life

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5 Star Testimonials

5.0 out of 5 starsBe Real, Be Attractive and Be at Ease…By Bud Inzer

What if you could be “at ease” in front of an audience…without having it all together–and be genuinely captivating? Well, you can and “Essential Speaking” will show you how! Read More

5.0 out of 5 starsClear Confident Guidance…By Joan Lester

This marvelous handbook is one of the clearest guides I have seen to claiming your authentic speaking voice in public. Read More 

5.0 out of 5 starsHow to Speak from a place of “Being”…By Lynda Klau PhD

The book focuses not on what the speaker says, but who she is– i.e., her essential self, her core, her inner voice– Dr. Downing literally transforms the paradigm for authentic speaking which makes “Essential Speaking” nothing less than evolutionary. Read More

5.0 out of 5 starsEssential Being: “Take the risk of being yourself”…By Michael Bouscaren

“Essential Speaking” delivers practical tools from many perspectives to release the true self as speaker. Dr. Downing shows us how to become the open hearted, connected persons we all long for but are afraid of becoming. Read More

5.0 out of 5 starsThe end of public speaking anxiety…By Lee Glickstein
Doreen Downing gets to the heart of the epidemic anxiety that stops so many wonderful people from living their gift out loud. Read More
5.0 out of 5 starsElegant, Profound, and Easy to Read…By Audrey Seymour
Dr. Downing’s step-by-step method is very clearly presented which makes it easy to read, yet contains material that is thought-provoking and life changing. Read More


5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful, warm, and wise…By Franklin Perry

Like its author, this book is wonderful, warm, and wise. Reading it, I became more aware of my own anxiety about speaking publicly and my own partially effective strategies for coping, such as over-preparing. Read More


5.0 out of 5 starsSpirited teaching – very accessible…By Michael Rost

I found “Essential Speaking” by Doreen Downing to be a very elegant publication – a calmly accessible, masterful weaving of life experience and applicable lessons. Read More


Doreen Downing, Ph.D., is a Psychologist, Founder of Essential Speaking, and Training Director of Speaking Circles® International. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety caused by the fear of speaking. In addition to her authentic communication workshops, private and group coaching, she leads Speaking Circles® in Berkeley and Marin, CA, along with E-Courses and seminars throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. To contact Doreen, Click Here.