Do you know what the #1 phobia of all humanity is?
Here are a few hints:
- It’s NOT heights…although that is #2.
- It’s NOT snakes, spiders or needles…
- It’s NOT even death!
Ok, give up? It’s public speaking!
YES, IT IS….. So many people around the world are terrified of public speaking and I can totally relate because I used to have this phobia myself!
I remember spending so much energy finding ways to avoid speaking on stage in my Drama Class, and it actually worked. Then years later I remember trying to speak in front of a class of high school girls as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, only to quickly run out of the room to lie down in the hallway so I would not pass out in front of them. I was utterly embarrassed!
As Jay Leno quipped, “I guess we’d rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.” And that was pretty much my philosophy until I started to develop skills that would help me to make speaking from the stage a little more palatable.
Why would I want to be a better speaker?
Public speaking is actually one of the most important skills a business owner can master. It doesn’t matter if you are speaking one on one, or to a group of thousands – the opportunity to share your message and connect with your prospects and clients is KEY to growing a business.
One of the best resources I have found to help me improve my speaking and communication skills as well as leadership skills is through my local Toastmasters club.
A Toastmasters meeting is basically a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, the members all pitch in to fill the various meeting roles. A key part of the program’s success is that it is the members who evaluate each other’s presentations, plus they also have opportunities to give impromptu talks, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar, and parliamentary procedure.
Practice Makes Permanent
The number #1 tip to help you become a better speaker is to rehearse your speech aloud using any equipment and/or visual aids you’ll use during your presentation. Rehearse as often as you can.
If you want to learn more about these valuable tips or find a club near you, visit the Toastmasters International Website.
But first, you have to have a great speech to practice.
The best resource that provides you a step-by-step process to write a powerful speech is The International Public Speaking Institute
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