ID Connections

Toast to conquering your fear of public speaking

Published by Sarah Bradbury, March 30, 2015.

Try saying this five times fast: Glossophobia.

Now, try saying it in front of a room full of people.

If just the idea of getting up and speaking in front of a group has your heart racing, you’re not alone. Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and affects more than 75% of the population, according to a 2014 study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, it’s such a real fear, that a poll conducted in 2013 reported that people fear public speaking more than they fear death.

If you want to conquer your anxiety and get ahead professionally and personally, joining a Toastmasters club is a great place to start. For those in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Creatively Speaking is a club that meets at the IDC headquarters bi-weekly, on Tuesdays from 6 - 8 p.m. For those in Ottawa, Creative Communicators meets at the HOK offices on Thursdays from 6 - 7:30 p.m. and, with clubs all across Canada, you can find one that’s convenient for you. 

“I found Toastmasters to be a fun and safe way to build my confidence when speaking to clients, as well as when pursuing larger projects,” says Dolores Pian, ARIDO Registered member and principal at SPACES Custom Interiors. “It gave me an opportunity to practice being persuasive, compelling, and bold. I find that I’m more relaxed and more myself with new clients and in new situations. I’ve come a long way for someone who is rather quiet and private.”

As an added bonus, IDC members can claim up to 15 non-IDCEC hours for Toastmasters participation to improve speaking, listening, and leadership skills as an interior designer. For full details refer to the IDCEC activity code chart

By joining a club near you, you’ll be able to hone the skills you need to make presentations and speeches, or simply communicate more effectively with existing and potential clients. As Toastmaster founder Ralph C. Smedley once said: “If you know how and when to speak and when to remain silent, your chances of real success are proportionately increased.”

In honour of Toastmaster’s 90-year history, here are their best public speaking tips.

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