Do you have a fear of public speaking?
Your fear of public speaking is something that you can conquer when you have an incredible group of people that are willing to support you in overcoming your fear. As you know the fear of public speaking is something that many of us have and rather than seek to conquer it, we try to avoid it.
I’ve had several conversations over the last few weeks with people who have a big presentation or are speaking at a conference and they tell me they wish they had joined Toastmasters. This is usually the case… We don’t stop and think about improving our speaking skills until it’s too late!
The fear of public speaking is something that isn’t top of mind until we are asked to speak at work, at church, or run a business conference. The one thing that I personally was always frustrated with was the fact that it’s not logical! There shouldn’t be anything to be afraid of, right?
Many great speakers that you see on YouTube, or speaking at conferences have practice over and over – sometimes hundreds of times! Very rarely does someone say they are natural and public speaking.
Toastmasters is a phenomenal way to not only build new relationships, find new friends but also polish your speaking and listening skills. Z’Toasters – is this Zappos Toastmasters Club that I joined back in October of 2014. We have an amazing group that is open to the public and is always looking to support others in overcoming their fears.
As a member of Toastmasters, here are two of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned.
1. It’s just practice.
Ken Richardson, an experienced DTM Toastmaster and mentor to our club shared this advice with us. “It’s just practice.” We are here to support each other and this is practice for all when need to speak in public or at our jobs given a presentation.
When I heard this, “it’s just practice” – it eliminated any fears I had about volunteering to speak at our Toastmasters club. Thinking of it as just practice , then “it became just that – practice and there’s no pressure”. This is where we make mistakes, get feedback improve and become prepared when we are called upon to speak or give a presentation.
The next valuable lesson I learned was this…
2. Stage time!
World champion of public speaking – Darren LaCroix mentioned this when sharing his experience competing at the international Toastmasters competition.
He had mentioned that sometimes we get to overwhelmed, and placed too much pressure on ourselves when giving a single speech. When reality we only get better after doing several speeches. That one particular speech is just a stepping stone and we shouldn’t stress out about it. If were not quite ready or prepared we should just give the speech anyway. It’s all about stage time. The more we stand up in front of a group and speak the letter were going to get.
Remember those two lessons:
It’s just practice.
If you’re looking for a Toastmasters Club in Las Vegas, stop by and visit when you are in town. If you live in Las Vegas – Definitely check us out!