I'm a NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter and state trainer. In several major research studies, IOOV has been proven to significantly reduce the stigma of mental illness. Two of us in recovery share our stories with groups in the community such as nursing schools, churches, providers, peer groups, police, civic groups, disability conferences etc. It benefits the audience and it really helps with our own recovery. The training is excellent and since we only talk about our own experience, about which we are the experts, stage fright is usually a non issue. We start by introducing ourselves, with out mentioning our mental illness, because we are encouraged to not be defined by our illness. Then we share our dark days, acceptance of our illness, treatment, coping skills and our successes, hopes and dreams. Questions from the audience are a big part of the presentation and are not a problem, since we only talk about our own experience. It's been very rewarding for me to show people what recovery can look like, when their only experience with mental illness may be from what they have read in the newspaper.