The Most Common Reasons People Work on their Speaking Skills

I want to hurl. I avoid public speaking, taking the lead on calls or speaking up in meetings because I am so nervous that my voice shakes and I completely blank out. If someone asks me a question, my heart races and I have to ask them to repeat the question because I have no idea what they just asked. I have seriously finished speaking and have no idea what I just said. When I even think about doing a presentation I start to feel anxious. I know it’s hurting my career advancement. Before I get to the meeting or on the call I have ideas, but I just rarely, if ever share them. After the meeting, I may reach out via email or individually to people, just not in the group. I’ve had questions at seminars and didn’t ask them because I had to step up to a mic. Usually one on one is fine, except if it’s someone I want to impress: a potential client, VP, job interview, etc.

I’m fine. Just fine. I am okay at presentations and know that if I want to step into a larger role, I need to speak more often. Or I am in a new role and I’m expected to run meetings and do more talks. I’m overall okay, but I’m not sure if I’m preparing effectively. I’ll speak up in a meeting if I really have something to say or if someone asks. I get a little nervous at the beginning of the talk but relax after a minute or so. Overall, I feel okay with what I’m doing, but I’m not sure if I’m projecting confidence and if my voice is loud enough or if I’m making complete sense. I ask myself: am I adding value to my audience?

The presentation or interview is scheduled and I need some practice and advice. I have an outline, a shell, a PowerPoint, an idea of what I’m going to talk about or be asked. But, am I organized? Compelling? Do I make sense? Am I using my gestures well and do I answer questions effectively? Am I framing my answers in a positive way? Is my opening strong?

I’m good with the prepared part, but the questions are killing me. Or the unexpected question…what do I do? I’m not great at thinking on my feet.

Does my accent hurt my credibility? Am I hard to understand?

Everyone asks me to speak up or repeat myself. Is it my volume? I feel like I’m talking as loud as everyone else, and I don’t want to shout. Or am I rushing and talking too fast? I just want to get the talk over with and don’t want to bore everyone.

If you identify with any of these, reach out and let me know. I can create a package or plan for you.