Speak Clearly -Be Strong
I am a professional speaker. You may not be one, but I can tell you that one of the biggest skills you’ll ever have is the ability to stand in front of any group at any time, and do a talk.
You may be heading a committee, making a sales presentation, running for a volunteer position, doing a sound bite on TV, but whatever it is, people who speak well and can communicate their message, have an advantage. If there was ever one course I would make sure every man, woman and child took, it would be in public speaking.
Most of us know that public speaking is the #1 fear in this country. There is no real way to get over that except by doing it. I certainly recommend working with an audio recorder and once you feel comfortable there, going to video, but I can tell you, you still won’t like what you hear.
Most people say, “It doesn’t sound like me.” And they are right. Even those of us who are “pros” hate to hear ourselves, and shudder when we are making recordings. I even had my producer select my video clips for my “demo” because it was too painful to watch. However, I do love getting in front of groups and feel very comfortable whenever I do so.
I also know that most politicians who have the ability to “schmooze” and have a charming and warm manner are much more successful than the ones who may be more brilliant and knowledgeable. So it is your best interest to start practicing. Go to Toastmasters, join a networking group where you have to stand up and introduce yourself and tell what you do, and make it a point to always put yourself in a position where you have to make a statement of some kind.
Eventually, you will realize you don’t always make a fool of yourself and people are actually listening to what you have to say. You never know when you will have to get up and speak, and knowing that you can do it puts you one step ahead of a lot of other people.