People make a big deal out of being afraid of public speaking.
When somebody tells me that they’re afraid of public speaking, I just want to tell them, “You know, you’re never going to get over it.”
I’ve been going to Toastmasters meetings for 5 years or more, and I still am nervous as hell every time I get up there and speak.
You will never get over your nervousness of speaking.
The reason for coming to a Toastmasters meeting, or the reason for coming to a public speaking practice club, at all, isn’t to get over your fear of public speaking. It’s not to stop feeling the fear. It’s to train yourself to speak anyway. That’s why we come to Toastmasters.
Don’t wait for some magic day to come, when all of a sudden you’re not afraid of speaking anymore. Get up there while you’re afraid and speak. Then, get up there tomorrow and speak. Then, get up there the next day and speak.
Five years later, it’s okay if you’re still afraid of speaking, because you probably will be.
The thing that you want to accomplish is not eliminating that fear. It’s just training yourself to get up there and say what you have to say anyway. Because people want to hear what you have to say. You owe it to them.
About Matt Krause
Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.