Because many people have a fear of public speaking, they get anxious when they are speaking in front of an audience and, therefore, often avoid public speaking. One of the keys to overcoming this fear and anxiety is to do more public speaking.
Tony Robbins said, “Repetition is the mother of skill”. And I say if you want to become a more confident and effective public speaker, then you need to do more public speaking.
Here are six ideas that you can use to do more public speaking.
1. Volunteer to chair or lead more meetings
Sometimes, you do not need to lead meetings. You can, instead, volunteer yourself to join. Bring along something that may be of interest to that meeting. Stand on your feet and go upfront, point out anything from the images being presented and discuss it.
With this exercise, you are now doing a mini speaking opportunity – you will surely be nervous at first but as you go along each week you will get comfortable and confident.
2. Do more community presentations
There are several community clubs like Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, High School Presentations that you can participate in. Find a community club that wants a guest speaker. Here, you do not need to present or talk about your work. It can be more about your interests or something you’re passionate about.
I know someone who is a podiatrist and in her live sessions, she often talks about mindfulness, the ability to be fully present. Take note that this is not her specialty or line of work, hence she continues to share her knowledge on this topic. The more you talk about something that interests you, the more you feel confident doing public speaking.
3. Join a Public Speaking Club
There are several speaking clubs in Australia, which include Toastmasters, Rostrum, Penguin. You can contact Toastmasters near you and they can help you put a club together.
Then once a week or depending on your created schedule when you meet, you can create that speaking opportunity. What’s good with Toastmasters, Rostrum or Penguin is that you can get feedback on how your speaking went. You will know what you need to improve and what’s best to become a more effective public speaker.
4. Speak at toolbox meetings, pre-start meetings, safety meetings, or lunch and learn meetings.
I often speak at a mining sector, and I know that every day they do pre-start meetings wherein a safety rep discusses some issues or asks anyone if they have any questions they want to raise.
Some businesses or companies do lunch and learn meetings. They will gather in a place and have their lunch and at the same time talk about what is going on in their organisation for about 5 to 10 minutes each person. Speaking at these types of meetings is about creating an opportunity to be able to do mini public speaking.
5. Take on a leadership role at a sporting club or community group
In a sporting club or community group, you may take on the position of president, treasurer, or secretary editor. You will then find yourself presenting to your group or colleagues about your reports or any information about what is going on in your circle.
You will speak at every committee meeting, and this will enhance your communication and speaking skills. It will be easy for you to become more confident and overcome your fear in public speaking since you are well known and are passionate about what you are discussing.
6. Practise speaking to family and friends
They say practice makes perfect, so practice and you can build confidence. Prepare a short topic of your interest and speak at a dinner party or other family get together. Speak to your family as if they were your audience. Afterward, ask for their comments and feedback.
The reality is that the more you do public speaking, the easier it becomes. The more you stand on your feet and speak, the more confident you will become and the easier it is for you to overcome your fear of public speaking.
My recommendation is that you use some of these strategies to create public speaking opportunities for yourself so that you are speaking at least once a week. To be confident and more comfortable with public speaking, get on your feet once a week.
If you like to step up your public speaking skills, I can run an in-house workshop on Winning Presentation Skills for your company.