Most people would rather die than give a speech, according to a survey reported in The Book of Lists. Fear of public speaking outranked the fear of death by a two-to-one margin! If you share this fear, don’t let that stop you from taking a step in the right direction. Nearly every one of the four million people who have participated in Toastmasters clubs around the world started out terrified, just like you.
The beauty of Toastmasters is that a Toastmasters meeting creates the perfect safe place for you to practice speaking in public. Everyone is at the meeting for the same reason as you: to overcome those fears, to become a better speaker. Even if you totally bomb at the podium, everyone at the meeting is there standing with you. No one will laugh. Mutual support is what it’s all about. The meeting has no other purpose than to help those who attend become better speakers.
It does not matter if English is your first language, how much education you have, or whether you have every spoken in public before. Come check out a Peachtree Toastmasters meeting and see for yourself. No one will force you to speak. No one will tackle you at the door and pressure you into becoming a member. If you want to start off with baby steps, that’s no problem. If you want to leap right in, that’s fine too.
Your fear of public speaking is the best possible reason to try Toastmasters. Don’t let fear stop you. If four million other people had let it stop them, 9,000 Toastmasters clubs would not now exist in over 70 countries.