When I was a young girl I was terribly shy. Though I could be relatively outgoing when around close family members and friends, just the thought of speaking in front of people I didn’t know intimidated me.
Fast forward to adulthood: Today I am a teacher and a freelance journalist and someone who’s often paid to speak to large audiences on topics ranging from blogging and business to writing and women’s empowerment.
So how do you overcome a fear of speaking in public? By speaking in public!
You can’t talk yourself out of a fear. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway, again and again, and eventually the fear will melt away.
I transformed from timid little girl to paid public speaker by doing exactly that. Like most kids in the South, as a girl I had to memorize and recite Scripture at church for Easter. In middle school we had to do presentations on famous people we admired. And in high school when I realized that journalism would be a good way to get paid to be a writer, I took a reporting elective that forced me to interview people I didn’t know.
Each year talking to strangers and speaking in front of crowds got easier and easier and I got better and better. In fact, in college when I took the public speaking class that all journalism majors were required to complete, I was so good my teacher insisted I enter a statewide competition (at which I made it to the finals before losing my voice! I still took home the bronze despite the fact I sounded like Marge Simpson). In that class we also learned how to give toasts at special events. Not to brag or anything, but my teacher found my toast so touching he cried!
Through the years I’ve picked up quite a few helpful tips and tricks about public speaking and I’m going to share them all with you at the workshop See Jane Speak: How to Land and Prepare for Your First or Next Speaking Engagement. At this event you’ll learn the elements of a strong presentation and we’ll do a fun exercise to help you improve your stage presence. Before you leave you’ll write either an outline for a presentation or a pitch to an organization or business for which you want to speak.
See Jane Speak
6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 30
Desert Island Supply Co, (DISCO)
5500 First Avenue North in Woodlawn
Only 20 spots available. Get your tickets today at janespeaks.eventbrite.com.