Did you know that fear of public speaking is the number one fear for Americans? It ranks right up there with fear of death, snakes, and heights!
Several years ago, God began opening the door for me to begin sharing my testimony and teaching His word to women. When I first began publicly speaking, I would literally physically shake with fear. My voice would tremble, I sweat profusely, and I felt almost like I was going to faint! I would just freak out before each speaking engagement, and my family would have to calm my nerves for days! Looking back on it, it is funny now – but at the time it wasn’t!
Obviously I was not alone with this problem. Abraham Lincoln, Oprah, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Jay Leno allegedly used to have anxiety before speaking. Harrison Ford, star of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, says speaking in front of others is a “mixed bag of terror and anxiety.”
Over time, it has become easier for me to speak. Actually, now I love it! Yes, I still get a few butterflies before any important speaking engagement, but with more practice it’s getting a lot better. One way I am overcoming fear of public speaking and refining speaking skills is by joining a local Toastmasters club. What is Toastmasters? I wrote an article on it here at my website, What Is Toastmasters?
If you struggle with nervousness when you speak in front of others, Toastmasters is a great place to help you conquer that fear, to give you plenty of practice publicly speaking at your own pace, and to improve your speaking and leadership skills. You’ll also have lots of fun and make new friends!