Friday, 09 August 2019 19:55

Is it possible to get over the fear of public speaking? Or is it always scary?

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Short answer… is that it is possible to overcome the fear of public speaking. However, it isn’t something that happens by magic or by growing older.

Like any other skill in life you need to learn the fundamentals of public speaking, effective communicating, and presentation skills.

And as in any other skill development it also takes time to develop your skills to a level where you are at least comfortable with performing an activity.

Developing your public speaking skills is also something you’re not able to do in a vacuum. You need at least one person, that is someone who is not yourself, to be able to speak or present to.

While speaking publicly, that is practicing, a major element in becoming a better speaker is to receive constructive feedback on your presentation skills, and the content of your presentation in your delivery.

It is often said the more you speak the more comfortable you will be speaking. This isn’t always true. While I mentioned the value of receiving constructive feedback, you need to do your own part in setting personal development goals, achieving them and then setting new higher goals.

Darren Lacroix, the 2001 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking says the secret to becoming a better speaker is stage time, stage time, stage time.

The idea being the more you speak the more you desensitize yourself to your fears. As mentioned in other posts this is where a Toastmasters club meeting can come in handy. A Toastmasters meeting is designed to provide as many speaking opportunities for its members as they can jam into the meeting times.

I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for over 25 years and continue to hone my skills. For the most part, I’m comfortable speaking before a group, or at least a small or mid-sized group. However, if I was asked to speak before several thousand people it may just trigger my original fears. I won’t know until I try it though.

If you’re over the age of 18 and you have a Toastmasters club in your community I would strongly suggest you check it out. One thing is for sure though, if you don’t stretch yourself, go into areas to make you uncomfortable such as public speaking, you can almost guarantee your of fear public speaking will remain with you.

Good luck and challenging yourself and becoming a confident public speaker. Countless others have done in the past and you can too!


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