Did you know that even experienced public speakers feel their heart thumping at an accelerated rate of speed? Speaking in public is a fear that many individuals have. You’re not alone. It’s normal to feel those butterflies. It is a normal physical reaction as there is a release of adrenaline and cortisol into your system. It’s like drinking several cups of coffee.
Speaking in public is truly scary for most people, including the experts. They may give the impression that they are very composed, but believe me, even they experience the same feelings. You can learn to control and manage these feelings. The key is in the preparation.
Good presentations skills and public speaking skills are very useful in many aspects of work and life. These skills are important in business, sales and selling, training, teaching, lecturing and generally entertaining an audience.
Therefore, improving the confidence and capability to give good presentations, and to stand up in front of an audience and speak well, are valuable self-development tools. Like most things, it simply takes preparation and practice to improve your skills and abilities.
If you are frightened to speak in front of a large group, just remember that you can control your fears by being prepared. It is the fear of the unknown that holds us back. With knowledge and practice, you will find confidence in yourself.
“Understanding our fears is the first and most important step to conquering them. As the saying goes, don't try to get rid of the butterflies — just get them flying in formation.” — UnknownThe Toastmasters organization is a wonderful environment to develop your presentation skills. Locate a local club like Goodyear Toastmasters and attend a meeting as a guest. During your first few meetings, you can choose to participate as much or as little as you want. You may find it more comfortable to just sit back and watch until you are ready to jump in. That’s ok too. Whatever your comfort level, you will find a group of individuals who — just like you — are there for the same reasons.
With practice, you will learn how to deliver solid presentations and make a good impression on your audience. It is a very nurturing environment. Your fellow Toastmasters are there to help you succeed. You never have to fear that anyone would laugh at you. They will help you blossom into something very special. You will develop great communication skills and have fun during the process.
Change the nervous energy to enthusiasm.
Remember: the audience is on your side. They want you to succeed. They want to enjoy themselves and they want to see you enjoying yourself too. All you have to do is DO IT!
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- image courtesy of Lieven Volckaert (Belgium)
Barbara Berezowski is an Olympian, Hall of Fame Inductee and inspirational speaker. You’ll find more at www.bberezowski.com.