By Natasha Fisher
Fear of public speaking is right up there with spiders, heights – and even death. In fact, according to a Psychology Today article, “The Thing We Fear More Than Death,” surveys indicate the fear of public speaking often tops that list.
So our fear of talking in front of people often outweighs our fear of death. So logical.
When I mention my experience with public speaking and even participating in competitions, I often hear, “I would be too nervous,” or “I could never do that.” But I reply, “You can and you should.”
If you think about it, you will certainly do public speaking at some point in your life: a presentation, a team meeting, a speech at a friend’s wedding, or accepting an award.
In terms of your career, the ability to speak well can open doors for you. You will need effective speaking to connect with a client or prospect in a presentation, demonstrate leadership in a team meeting, and convey your ideas to your leadership team i.e. your boss and your boss’s boss.
Whether you are just starting your career or you have been in the workforce for some time, I urge you to develop your public speaking skills. There are a few organizations that can help you such as Toastmasters International and JCI Winnipeg.
Almost two years ago, I participated in the Effective Speaking Workshop hosted by JCI Winnipeg. While I gained a number of skills through the workshop, it was through the competitions and the act of public speaking itself where I gained the most skills and experience. A pretty obvious concept really: learn by doing.
Recently, I had the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experience to individuals that participated in the JCI Effective Speaking Workshop earlier in March. I was truly inspired by what each individual had to say during the exercise where they had to do an impromptu speech on topics such as “Intelligence is not enough,” “Plants have feelings too,” and “The more we communicate, the less we really say.”
Each participant developed a two- to four-minute speech on the spot that was thought-provoking and that engaged each audience member to the point where we had a group conversation after each speech.
They took a random topic, made it their own, and found a way to connect with the audience. At the end of the day, that is what we want to do, connect through effective speech.
You too can get connected. Join us at a JCI Winnipeg Month End Mixer to share your vision of a better community, engage JCI members toward betterment, and discover the avenues of potential and impact that exist within JCI Winnipeg. Visit jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for more information.