Did you know that public speaking is the greatest fear that people have, even more, significant than the fear of death? Many people shy away from public speaking opportunities in school, university, and business.

According to Barbara Fish, M. Ed., the fear may appear at school in a classroom.
How often were we saying to ourselves, ”  prayers hoping that the teacher won’t call on you to answer a question? ” I did not like it; even some say they hate public speaking.

The first time I heard about public speaking was around 1994; while working as a nurse in Quebec City, a friend said: ” Do you know about Toastmasters? ” I said no, and even though the organization has been running since 1924 in the US still unknown to many people today.

At the time, I did not want to know about it until 2009, I was in Montreal, and one day I decided to visit a club and find out about it. It was the first step in my Toastmasters journey. However, I was not so interested at the time and after one year thought that I did not learn so much!!!

Then after one year, I left the club. In December 2010, my coach recommended I give it another try because he told me:  ” when you are in business and in your life, you need to know how to express yourself and even at work or university.”

In the first year, If you had seen me, I was afraid to do the significant roles such as chairperson, toastmaster etc. I did not have the confidence in myself to do it. Then In January 2011, I joined again and made it work. I did a speech every month to keep the momentum, and I realized that I had improved after all and was not afraid anymore doing the roles.

After 6 1\2 years in Toastmasters, I reached the highest recognition as a Distinguished Toastmaster.
( DTM ), which means that you have completed the whole program. I had never thought I would do it when I started; one step at a time goes a long way.

Some recommendations that will help you to overcome the fear of public speaking.

1. Before speaking, visualize yourself during the day; repeat your speech mentally and see how you look and imagine the audience looking at you like If it was real, and It is much easier when the time comes. Know your subject, so you don’t need to learn it by heart.

2. Do breathing relaxation techniques to manage stress and pause as you speak. It gives you more control.

3. Eye contact is essential as you speak. It is less intimidating. If you don’t want to look in the eyes, look at their forehead or eyebrows.

4. You may want to join a Toastmasters near you. If you like, you can try it, which might change your life. Here is the website:    www.toastmasters.org  

Watch this video which will give you more tips and what Toastmasters can do for you.

In conclusion, if you need some help in your business, this is important to be comfortable speaking in public. Also, find a community which shares your values and encourages you in the process.

Have a wonderful speaking day, and let’s connect!


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