Do you have a fear of public speaking? I’m amazed at how many people do, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re one of them. In fact, three-quarters of Americans rate speaking in public as the thing they’re most fearful of. It even surpasses death.
After reading Dale Carnegie’s books, I realized that, although I’m not afraid to speak in public, I could do a much better job with it. I simply don’t spend enough time preparing, which sometimes leads to poorly executed presentations.
So, I went to a Toastmasters meeting tonight. This international group, which has been around since 1924, meets to help its members improve their speaking and leadership skills. The little chapter that meets in Westminster seemed nice enough, and I enjoyed listening to the various presenters give a talk, which was followed with a critique. I was impressed with the constructive criticism, and it was easy to tell that each person wanted to help the speaker improve him/herself.
On my way home, I was talking to a friend of mine who said that public speaking makes him feel really uncomfortable, and he couldn’t see himself joining a group like Toastmasters. Well, isn’t that the kind of person who needs them the most?
Each of us has our own set of fears. Maybe public speaking isn’t one of yours, but I’m sure you have something that you’re fearful of. There are countless groups like Toastmasters that exist to help people overcome their issues and get on with living.
Many of us are looking for the latest and greatest to help us through our problems, but those tend to cost a lot, and sometimes provide only nominal success. Tried and True methods such as those espoused by Toastmasters usually have more long-lasting results. And they do it very inexpensively. The local Toastmasters dues are $6.50 per month. How can you beat that?
So, I think I’m going to join the group and try it out for a while. Maybe I can drag some of my friends along. I hope that we’ll all improve our public speaking ability, and maybe make some new friends. It will be a lot of fun.
Is there any area of your life which could benefit from your participation in a group? Jump on-line and see what you can find. I think you’ll be happy you did.