Who’s Still Afraid of Public Speaking?

Over the years, public speaking has fallen from being the #1 fear on the planet. Recent research by Chapman University says public speaking now ranks #29 on the list, with 26.2% of those surveyed in 2018 still being fearful of public speaking. Know anyone still in that situation?

Confident Public Speaking Is a Top Leadership Skill

Among the 26 percent who still suffer from fear of public speaking, are entrepreneurs, consultants, and subject matter experts. Others are seeking job promotion. Some are emerging leaders or those recently promoted to their first management position.

Typically, those who seek my counsel have a high-profile conference presentation on the calendar. They want to sharpen specific skill sets and receive personal coaching to make the best possible impression. Success can lead to a promotion, a new career opportunity, or simply personal satisfaction.

Fear of Interviewing?

Other clients are actively interviewing to find a better job. Dr. Paul Green’s excellent book, Get Hired, is my favorite recommendation. The architect of behavioral interviewing, Paul Green’s practical advice is still specific and relevant. Practice, application, and professional feedback are what my clients want. Needs range from mastering short stories that prove their competence to practicing for a panel interview. Self-awareness rises to a higher level when a client’s practice is recorded, reviewed, and learners have their own “aha!” moment. Real change starts when they see themselves in action.

Toastmasters Help With Fear of Public Speaking

No doubt, a good part of today’s decline in fear of public speaking can be credited to Toastmasters International. Founded in 1924, the non-profit educational organization is thriving. Toastmasters’ 360,000 members and 16,100 clubs meeting in 141 different countries have learned to:

  • become better public speakers
  • overcome public speaking fears
  • practice presentations for other audiences
  • improve their confidence and courage to become leaders
  • boost their career prospects.

To find a Toastmasters Club convenient for you, search https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club.

Another online resource is Six Minutes http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/ by Andrew Dlugan, who strives to avoid “Suicide by PowerPoint.” Andrew is an award-winning public speaker and speech evaluator who resides in British Columbia, Canada.

Reach Out for Workshops, Coaching, Conversation Over Coffee

Distinguished Toastmasters Bradley Harris and I are offering small, half-day workshops in January. We have worked together for over 10 years, sponsoring and mentoring both the Medtronic Toastmasters Club and the ALSAC-St Jude Toastmasters Club in Memphis. http://shelleybaur.com/events/

Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit.

Or if you simply want to pick our brains over a cup of coffee, email me, shelley@shelleybaur.com

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