Before I joined JCI the idea of standing up speaking in front of a room full of people scared me. Over the last 4 years I have had the opportunity to practice speaking in public on a small scale – in front of small groups and to people I knew (or at least had met before).
In May 2015 I attended the second JCI UK Public Speaking Academy and the skills and confidence it has given me has been amazing. I have been involved in leading training courses; talking to all my work colleagues; taking part in a public speaking competition and speaking at my wedding (which got both laughs and tears from family and friends!)
All of these things were significant milestones for me in acquiring the skills and more importantly the self-belief that I was able to stand up in front of a room full of people and that they would listen to me. Last week I had two opportunities to push myself forward even further.
1) I was asked by JCI UK Immediate Past President Drew Charman to represent JCI at a Business South event for people new to Networking. Initially I was going to say no but I realised that it was a great opportunity for me to develop my skills. There were approximately 65 people at the event and I had to share my skills and experience with them all. I wanted to give the attendees as much advice as possible and got lots of great tips and tricks from my network of friends via Facebook which really helped. It was also great to call on a fellow JCI member as to how to structure the event to give the best experience to the delegates.
2) I was the quiz master for a charity quiz in aid of Autism Hampshire. The event was a great success raising lots of cash for charity and lots of people came up to me after the event to say how much they enjoyed it.
I am now thinking about what different events I can speak at as I now realise that the more practice I get the better I will be.
If you are scared of speaking in public my number one tip would be to find a nice audience and give it a go. The more practice you get the more confident you will feel! Also I would highly recommend the 2017 JCI UK Public Speaking Academy!
Just remember 4 years ago I would never have dreamt of doing any of these things – just surround yourself with supportive people and make the decision to Choose Extraordinary
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by James Lambert