GNcareers, from Gulf News

Overcome your stage fright

Overcome your stage frightImage Credit: Supplied

They say public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should possess. Everyone knows that having great public speaking skills can advance one's career, improve business, and even strengthen relationships with people and the community. Although its benefits have been trumpeted by many a career expert, parent and teacher, it still remains a pet peeve of many.

If you are one of those individuals who develops sweaty palms, a racing heart, quivering voice, or butterflies in the stomach when asked to talk before an audience, whether in the office or in public, it's about time you faced and conquered your paralyzing fear. After all, we are all wired to communicate to get our message across, and for people to understand us.

Experts advise to take it slow, i.e. do not pressure yourself and expect a transformation overnight. Keep in mind that it takes lots of practice. Even world-renowned speakers never stop learning or devising ways to deliver a rousing speech. One excellent way of developing or enhancing your public speaking skills is to attend a Toastmasters club in your area, avail yourself of free public speaking seminars conducted all over the UAE, or enroll in a program that focuses on exactly just that.

Institutions and organizations in the UAE that provide access to anyone who wants to be more comfortable and less anxious when delivering a speech in front of a crowd include the International School of Communication, Informa, HNI Training & Coaching, Dubai Orators, Laimoon, Strategy and Teams, and In Learning. Various online public speaking tutorials are also available.

Handy Hints:

• Public speaking is a skill we apply to all facets of life

• Constant practice is essential to develop soft skills

• Be part of clubs, attend trainings/seminars to improve

Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Classifieds,

The writer is a freelancer