I joined Shropshire Speakers in January to help tackle a longstanding fear of public speaking.
Other than being a Telford-based club affiliated to Toastmasters, I knew very little about the Shropshire Speakers Group. I assumed that the meetings would be a bit intimidating, but I was completely wrong.
I attended the first two meetings as a guest and was instantly struck by the friendliness of everyone I met. There was a genuine warmth that I had not expected and although the meetings were very well structured and organised, they were also a lot of fun! Guests were encouraged to participate, but only if they felt comfortable to do so – there was no hard-sell to join, but the energy and enthusiasm was infectious!
I now realise that there is so much more to Shropshire Speakers than just talking. Already, I have been able to:
- Develop my listening skills
- Practice evaluation
- Learn to give and receive constructive feedback
- Try out different management roles that involve me ‘thinking on my feet’ and communicating more clearly
This is all in addition to improving my actual presentation and public speaking skills.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your confidence in speaking to an audience or delivering an excellent presentation, I urge you to come along and give Shropshire Speakers a try – I think you’ll be quite surprised!
I never thought I would say this … but I’m actually looking forward to delivering my next talk!