When considering personal growth and self-improvement in the new year, getting over the fear of public speaking often comes to mind. It’s estimated that about 75% of us experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness about public speaking. There’s even a name for it: glossophobia! But while public speaking may not come naturally to most of us, it is certainly a skill that can be acquired. An upcoming free public event hosted by Toastmasters District 21 will show you how.
The best public speakers in the world are rewarded handsomely for their efforts. People like Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, and Richard Branson command six-figure fees for their speeches. While few people will achieve that level of influence, the best speakers are richly rewarded, both in the professional and the personal arena.
Learn how to give a compelling speech, make a dynamic sales presentation, and confidently lead a meeting, and just watch what happens to your career. In fact, nearly one-third of all Fortune 500 companies now host in-house speaking clubs. They know that successful companies grow their own leaders.
Apply those same skills to your everyday life. This could mean asking a banker for a loan, negotiating a better price on a large purchase, learning how to lead a group of volunteers, handling a cranky neighbour, or dealing with the parent-teacher meeting in a poised and confident way.
Of course, the only way to get used to speaking to people… is by speaking to people. Find a buddy and take turns giving impromptu speeches. Sign up for a speaking course at your local community college or university. Hire a professional public speaking consultant for one-on-one coaching. Or join Toastmasters, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the communication and leadership development.
Intrigued? In a January 20th presentation, called “Toastmasters: Where Leaders Are Made,” Irish raconteur and Toastmasters Past International President Ted Corcoran will share his entertaining perspective about the best way to become a better communicator. Members of the public are invited to hear him free at the Bob Wright Centre at the University of Victoria at 7 p.m. Please visit www.d21toastmasters.org for details.