They say that the fear of speaking in public is greater than the fear of death.
It usually turns out that many of us fear what others will say about us. We are afraid to look stupid, mess up, lose our train of thought or God forbid, appear to be boring. When we are nervous, it’s usually because we are worried about ourselves. However, the minute it stops being about “you” and starts being about the content and the audience, the better you’ll feel.
Join a group like Toastmasters International which has been around since 1924 and consists of 11,700 clubs in 92 countries around the world. I am a member of Golden Speakers Toastmasters Club that is one of the 95 clubs in District 19 of Iowa. I enjoy being a member because it’s inexpensive, offers a proven and enjoyable way to practice and hone my communication and leadership skills, while speaking to an encouraging audience.
A few months ago, one of our club members, Ed Hipp, won the Toastmasters State Humorous Speech Contest which means he won first place out of 95 clubs in our district (entering speech contests is not a requirement). Last month, he presented his winning speech to a packed house that included our club members and outside guests. I was his evaluator. The beauty of Toastmasters is that we not only practice speaking from specific speech manuals with different purposes, but we evaluate each other’s speeches. It’s all done in an encouraging manner, commenting on the strong points and giving a few suggestions for improvement.
This is a youtube video of my evaluation. You may want to watch Ed’s speech first by clicking the Humorous Speech link above.
Are you ready to tame the fear of public speaking?! You can, you know. Anyone share how they deal with fear of speaking in public?
photo: Toastmasters International
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