Community

Speaking in public can be frightening

You may be familiar with the cultural observation that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death, meaning that at a funeral most of us would prefer to be in the casket rather than delivering the eulogy.

Speaking in public can be frightening. Attending a company meeting or speaking up in class can be intimidating and keep us from sharing our insights or being a leader by asking that question everyone else is wondering about too.

Here’s the one big, magical tip that can help you overcome your fear of public speaking by becoming a better communicator and honing your leadership skills:

Join Toastmasters.

While there’s no instant fix for a fear of public speaking, the Toastmasters program is effective and provides you with a positive and structured program to help you reach your communication and leadership goals.

When you join a Toastmasters club you find a group of people who are also working through their fears about public speaking. Remember this when you walk in for your first time – it can be easy to think that your fellow Toastmasters have always been great speakers because they seem so confident. But don’t be fooled — as you get to know the group better you’ll be surprised to hear people who are very confident speakers today tell their stories of crippling fear of public speaking. Really.

There are tree Toastmasters clubs to choose from in the Comox Valley. The 60 Minutes group meets from 12-1 p.m. every Thursday at the Lewis Centre. The Comox Valley Toastmasters group meets Wednesday nights from 7-9 p.m. at the Lewis Centre, and the Comox Toastmasters meet Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at the Berwick in Comox.

For more information about the groups, check out their   Toastmasters.ComoxValley.com. You can also find them on Facebook: /CVToastmasters. Guests are always welcome. Drop in to any meeting to find out more.

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