Fear Public Speaking More Than Spiders?

Fear Public Speaking More Than Spiders?

Do you have a fear of public speaking that is more intense than your fear of spiders?  Well then, you are like most of us.  Years ago (like a decade), a co-worker of mine saidthat he had gotten over his fear of public speaking by joining Toastmasters International.  Over the years, I have had joining Toastmasters on my “to-do” list and even had it formally put in my employee review as a goal to accomplish, yet I kept putting it on the back burner.

This year, I finally joined and I thoroughly enjoy it.  Not only do you learn the techniques for effective public speaking, but you also get to meet some great people, learn interesting facts, and listen to some fascinating personal experiences.  Toastmasters creates a comfortable environment filled with a positive attitude to encourage you to continue, while you also get the constructive critiquing to improve your speaking skills.  The way they accomplish this is the use of the “Sandwich Method” when an evaluator critiques your speech.  The “Sandwich Method” is simply beginning the critique with a sincere compliment, and then an evaluation delivered kindly and stating useful tips for improvement and followed by accolades that inspire you for your next speech.

If you think a group like this would help you, you don’t have to commit right away.  Go to www.toastmasters.org and find the clubs that are in your area.  Guests are always welcome and if you live in an area that has several clubs, I suggest you check out more than one before deciding which one to join.  Each club has its own dynamic personality and one may fit you better than another.  I was a guest at two local clubs before deciding which to join.

Finally, for those of you for whom English is not your native language, we welcome you to join as well to improve your English skills.  Recently, some new members that have joined my club are from Latin America.  Watching their improvement and increased confidence level with each of their speeches only motivates you to improve more too.  Actually, on the day one woman became a US Citizen, that night she came to her first Toastmasters meeting and joined on the spot!

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