Rather Die than Make a Speech?

Then you're not alone! Studies show that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. I believe it, although I can't relate to it. When I taught high school English, I had good students who would take a zero rather than have to do a presentation in front of the class. But as for me, expressing my opinion was highly encouraged in my house. I also started doing theater when I was six. Those early experiences made me fairly comfortable with standing up before a group.

There are all sorts of articles out there with tips on how to calm those butterflies in your stomach. The reality is that the best way to overcome a fear is to face it. I'm not suggesting that you volunteer to make speeches at work or in your community. I'm suggesting that you join Toastmasters. And for additional help, hypnotherapy works wonders!

Toastmasters: A Supportive Environment to Learn and Grow

Toastmasters is an international, non-profit organization. There are clubs all over the world. At a Toastmasters meeting, you will find supportive mentors who will help you take baby steps towards becoming a confident speaker as well give you a chance to hone leadership skills.

Most clubs allow visitors to come and observe. By visiting, you can get a feel for the group. In our club, we also invite visitors to participate in Table Topics if they wish. Table Topics is the portion of the meeting where one member, serving as the Table Topics Master, presents a theme and gives members and guests a chance to practice their impromptu speaking skills. Typically, the Table Topics Master will present a quote or question and ask for a volunteer to speak to that quote or question. The volunteer has two minutes to share their thoughts and ideas.

The other part of the meeting is devoted to prepared speeches which members compose in accordance with a speech manual. There is a basic manual and then a choice of advanced manuals for members to focus their skills based on their needs and interests. Prepared speeches are evaluated by another member so that we can each grow from the feedback we receive.

For the competitive types, you can also participate in contests. Contests start out at the club level and progress to area, district, division, and international levels.

We all use public speaking skills in our lives, whether we realize it or not. At work, in our community, and in our social lives, speaking is inevitable. Why not become more comfortable with your skills in a friendly, safe, educational environment? Find a club near you. Visit www.toastmasters.org.


Hypnotherapy: Retraining the Subconscious Mind

Current research shows that 95% of what we do is done on the subconscious, automatic level. Emotions, habits and beliefs drive the subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy is a natural process that allows a person to reprogram the subconscious to accomplish personal and professional self-improvement goals. Since becoming a Certified Hypnotherapist, when I teach Public Speaking I ask if people in the class would like to do a group hypnosis session. Combined with the information they learned during the class, the hypnotherapy makes my students even more relaxed and confident when they get up to give their final speech. For more information, go to www.positivemoves.us.

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