When asked, the majority of people would claim that their greatest fear is getting up in front of a crowd and giving a speech. People in business often don’t know how to address a group of people who are wanting to learn more about their product or service.
So why are we so afraid of public speaking? Well for one thing not very many of us are good at it and we don’t know how to get better.
Public oration was once a skill highly valued and therefore it was something that was worked on with much effort and time in school. Part of the reason that more people were schooled in speech making in the past was because school was really only for those to whom the skill would be beneficial. Only the “gifted” children were formally trained in such skills (i.e. those who had the money to be able to afford post secondary education).
Nowadays people are beginning to do pubic speaking in grade school. Young children are encouraged to speak in contests as well as in class. Adults are being asked to give presentations at school and at the office. However, many of us are not good at it, and don’t have the natural skills, desires, or regular practice that they need to be good. We may speak too softly, stumble over our words, use filler words with every breath, or simply stare at the screen instead of the audience.
So what do you do if you are in business and have to speak to people on a regular basis? Do you just hope and pray you don’t sound like an idiot, or do you do something more productive like joining a Toastmasters Club.
Now, before you get all worried about joining such a club, let me reassure you that you do not need to be an excellent orator before joining. Toastmasters is a place where you learn communication and leadership skills to help you in all areas of your life. You can learn how to do impromptu speaking well. Impromptu speaking is something we do everyday, but often we get tongue tied and nervous and use a lot of uhms and ahs. At Toastmasters you learn to do without these filler words.
Businesses thrive on communication…oral and written. If you want to improve your business, improve your communication.
To your business and speaking success