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Assertiveness/Confident Communication course/book/online resource recommendations?

(1 Post)
PerpetualStudent Sat 06-Aug-16 18:37:01

Not sure if mental health is the right place for this, but it's an issue that's linked to my anxiety for me, so can't think where else to put it.

I've been noticing a lot recently my day-to-day use of language minimises and apologies for my existence and choices. All the standard British/female stuff of apologising too much, but also actually building in apologies and unneeded explanations into everything.
I ramble, I'm vague, I make jokes at my own expense, I actually perversely end up monopolising conversations because I feel the need to respond to the judgements I feel everyone is making, and also because I seem to have lost the ability to ask questions of others out of fear I sound rude/intrusive.
Professionally I cannot express myself clearly and succinctly (something which is very important in my field), I do that rising inflection thing, so every response sounds like a request for approval. Simple emails get over-stuffed with phrases like "If you can spare the time" "I just wanted..." "No worries if not..." I should know the answer to this but..." "I'm probably wrong..." etc etc
I'm in my 30s now, and I hear myself talking like a silly, shy little girl and I'm sick of it.
It feeds into a physical state where I'm hunched, awkward and jittery, trying not to take up space and scared to take my time with anything, and it seems this in turn has a physiological response of shame, which makes the need to apologise/explain even worse...

I really want to stop this. Does anyone recognise this issue, and have you come across any resources - either face to face training (I'm London-based), a book, or something online, which helped you tackle this.

Without being outing, I actually work in a field where public presentations are common, so it's not a 'public speaking' issue, but more a one-on-one and small groups problem.
I'm also currently trying out some CBT workbooks (something that's helped me in the past) and looking at getting counselling more generally, but this is a particular manifestation of the problem where it seems like some specific communication techniques could improve things.

Grateful for any suggestions - many thanks!

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