06 February 2007

Be prepared to get up in front of a crowd – challenge yourself

We have all heard that for many people the thought of a slow and painful death is preferable to having to stand in front of a crowd and give a talk. As an experienced public speaker I can really relate to this and there are still times when I break into a cold sweat before going on stage. Sometimes it is harder to stand and present in front of a group of 20 people than it is to talk in front of 1000 people – but there is no doubt that for most of us it is challenging.

I did my first public speaking course when I was at High School and I must say I am very glad I did. But I like to do refreshers every once in a while and I am firmly committed to improving my skills as a public speaker. The opportunities that public speaking presents are considerable and it gives you the opportunity to become an expert in your chosen field.

There are many situations that call on people to present in a group situation and if you let people know that you are prepared to do it, more opportunities will come your way. So take the challenge, face the fear and go for it.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? Anyone can become a better public speaker – like most skills though we need to be taught how. Sign up for a course in public speaking that will teach you how to overcome nerves and other insecurities that will enable you to get up in front of a group of people and share your own knowledge and experiences. Lots of businesses offer these courses, Toast Masters International is one of the most renowned organizations but there are plenty to choose from in every country. Even if you are an experienced public speaker your skills can only get better by doing a course like this.

3 thoughts on “Be prepared to get up in front of a crowd – challenge yourself”

  1. Jean says:

    My stage debut was at age 8 in the junior school production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was cast as Moth. I think I played a pretty good moth as I stood there trembling with my head in my hand… struck dumb deaf and mute for most of my scenes! Definitely not an asset to the rest of the cast… but hey… it was an “unforgettable” experience! Fortunately I got over it and went on to bigger and better stage plays performances and recitals… but the “feeling” never left me. At 9 months pregnant I was still making speeches at the local (country) rostrum to the amusement of most of the male speakers… but hey… at last I had some weight to throw around! Not sure I could do it again now… but I very much admire those who can.

    Great article!

  2. Thanks Jean – would have been a lovely performance and I am sure the critics would have remembered “the moths” performance long after the curtain had come down. I still get plenty of butterflies (sometimes they feel more like pelicans) rumbling around inside my stomache, but my golden rule is to be super prepared. I always turn up early for a venue, double check everything, my presentation has been rehearsed to some degree and I have made a point of connecting with few members of the audience. If it falls apart after that – well I just laugh out loud and do the best I can! Thanks again for your feedback. AG

  3. ATTITUDE says:

    Thanks again Andrew great blog, was that photo taken at the Gold Coast International?

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