We are living in an era of marketing. Marketing ourselves. We need to sell ourselves in order to get ahead in life, be it professional, personal or social.
One of the requisite of selling ourselves is to speak in public. And sadly, this is the one thing which many of us fear from. The fear of speaking in public makes us tongue tied & nervous wreck.
In my school days I used to be very enthusiastic. I did not have any qualms in speaking in public. I always used to take part in Elocution competition, Debates & even singing competition in spite of me not being a very good singer 😉
But then life changed its course. I was not myself & inferiority complex had set in. Let alone speaking in public, I used to shy away speaking to anyone. I was almost living a life of a recluse.
Life keeps taking turns & I once again found myself in public eye. There was no escaping public speaking now. I remember there were some changes in our Project structure & we had to introduce ourselves to the team in a team bonding session. When it was my turn, I gave my introduction but I was shaking a lot & had rested my hands on the glass table. At one point, I thought the table would break out of sheer pressure. I was that nervous. This happened couple of times & it made me really worried.
Working in a BPO ensures that there are several training programs conducted to improve your skills. Fortunately I was part of a Personality Development Program (No, my awesomeness is not related to any training program 😉 ) I asked the trainer about my fear of public speaking & the remedy to correct that.
He gave me the best advice. He said practicing in front of mirror is futile as you know you are speaking to yourself. If you want to overcome that fear you have to face that fear head on. Take as many opportunities you get to speak in public & you will gain confidence automatically.
I followed his advice to the T. I never shied from the opportunities that came in my way & I sometimes created opportunities as well. (No, I am not using this advice to overcome my fear of dogs, ok? 🙁 )
One more thing I learnt is if you know the subject well, you have won half the battle.
I am still not an excellent public speaker, however, I can rate myself as above average. I have become pretty good in giving presentations, at times without notice & at times without any preparation. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous. I still get butterflies in my stomach. But these butterflies don’t stop me from taking the bulls by the horn 😉 Instead, I dance with the butterflies 🙂 🙂 🙂