They say that the fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death or injury for some people. What is that all about? Really, death? I find the notion that the fear of talking to a group is stupid and it makes me angry that I fear it. I hate it, so I avoid it – but avoiding it makes it worse!
So off I go to Toastmasters and what started out as fear – nervous, anxious and shaky is now more like not wanting to go to the gym. Just get up there and do it despite being uncomfortable! The only way to get from being fearful to enjoying the moment is practice. Toastmasters is for exactly that practice in a great environment. No judgment – you don’t have to worry about losing your customer or your job. Its the perfect place to look like a fool – no one cares!
For those unfamiliar with Toastmasters, it is an international organization that is made up of chapters or small groups organized by its members. The meetings are usually once a week and run from 1 to 1-1/4 hours. They typically follow a 3-part format: speakers, impromptu speaking and evaluations. Everyone participates in the meeting and we all have rotating roles. For example, last week, I was a speech evaluator. I spoke for 2 minutes giving constructive feedback to someone who had a speaking roll. I have been to a Toastmasters group at noon near my old office and now I am a member of The Fortunate 500 that meets at 6pm Tuesdays at Kaiser on Interstate Ave.
The cost is minimal: our club fees are $33 for 6 months. That is less than $6/month!
If you need practice with your public speaking try Toastmasters at a time/location that is convenient for you!