Fear of Public Speaking
Speaking confidently looks easy when you see someone else doing it. But unfortunately a fear of public speaking affects a great many people, often stopping them from achieving all they might. When faced with the prospect of speaking in public, emotions range from nervousness to sheer terror. Perhaps public speaking is a rather misleading term. What we are talking about is speaking to any group of people, whatever the number, in any situation that goes beyond an informal conversation with family or friends.
Fear of public speaking, glossophobia to give it its technical name, can have many different symptoms. These can include a racing heart, sweating, feeling light-headed, difficulty in breathing, shaking, dry mouth and even nausea. If you feel like this you are far from alone. Probably the majority of people who join a speakers' club suffer apprehension to a greater or lesser degree when required to speak in public. But it can be overcome.
What makes us so apprehensive of something that is not at all dangerous? Why is speaking confidently such a challenge? The most common reason that people give is that they don't want to make a fool of themselves, to look stupid. This may be as a result of something previously that hasn't gone as well as we would have liked, which has undermined confidence. It may have its roots in some long forgotten incident, possibly in childhood. Or perhaps a lack confidence in ourselves generally.
Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety
The good news is that it is possible to overcome our fears and to learn to speak confidently. Our speakers' clubs operate in a structured and professional manner but aim to have fun along the way. They rely on members supporting each other to become confident and effective speakers. Like anything else worthwhile, the more you put in, the more you get out. They don't offer a quick fix any more than membership of a sports club will turn you into an Olympic athlete overnight. You need to commit to turning up on a regular basis and taking advantage of all opportunities to speak. Most importantly, you need to listen to the advice given. Then you will be speaking confidently and persuasively in a surprisingly short time. All of our clubs welcome visitors. Why not come along to see and hear for yourself what we do?