Do you feel nervous whenever you’re asked to give a speech or do a presentation? Does the thought of getting up in front of an audience terrify you? Have you found yourself turning red or feeling hot before a speech? Then you’re in good company because most people have anxiety with public speaking. You’ve probably heard that public speaking is the number one social fear – some people fear it even more than death!
Whether you’re trying to get a venture capitalist to invest in your business idea, an employer to hire you for a position, your neighbors to sponsor your for a charity event or your spouse to let you buy a new “toy,” you need to sell your idea to them. I’’s much easier to sell someone on something when their excited about it, so here are two easy ways to do just that.
Get really excited about it:
It’s no secret that most people associate some sort of discomfort with public speaking. In fact, many people flat out hate it. I believe part of the reason for this is that there’s a lot of advice on how to be a better speaker (and even how to get rich from public speaking) that is either only semi-accurate or in some cases, completely inaccurate. So when people follow it and it doesn’t work they get frustrated and think that there’s something wrong with them.
I bet you never thought in a million years that I’d admit on this blog that there are things about public speaking that scare me. Well, there are. I’ve been in the speaking business for almost ten years now and while I’ve had my share of successes, I’ve also had a lot of non-successes (I’m trying to avoid referring to them as “complete failures“). Some of them were my fault while others could be blamed on other people, but these are mistakes that I’ll never forget – and that’s a good thing. You see, these are mistakes that I desperately do not want to repeat.
When I was an instructor in graduate school, the syllabus I handed out to my students had a part that said “there’s no such thing as a dumb question. The only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.” Having just finished my undergraduate studies, I knew this statement was garbage. I explained my thoughts to the person who insisted we put it in the syllabus, but she insisted that I was wrong. It wasn’t long before my point was proven.
In one of my classes, I was explaining how we’d be learning to use the internet – a relatively new concept back in 1996. One student raised his hand and asked “are we going to look at porn?” I replied by pointing out the dumb question quote in the syllabus and thanked him for helping me prove my point.
In part one of this article, we talked mainly about the opportunities that exist within your own Toastmasters club to push yourself as a speaker. Most people that join Toastmasters don’t venture beyond their clubs, so they’re missing a whole new world of opportunity in Toastmasters for improving their speaking skills.
So here are some ways to flex those speaking muscles outside of your home club:
6. Visit other clubs