Public speaking ranks as one of the greatest fears among people - and though I'm not "afraid" of it as such, I do know that it is something I need to improve.
I am confident in the written word but feel my public speaking should be better to reflect this. So I was thrilled (and terrified) to be invited to the local Toastmasters group which is called Newbury Speakers.
First off, it's nothing to do with making toast. ANother thing I am not good at.
It's about providing a gentle environment in which to practise public speaking.
I have a way to go, but after my meeting, I can see how encouragement and support has really made a difference to its members and I thoroughly recommend it as a way of practising.
We were invited to speak spontaneously for two minutes on a given topic. As it was Shrove Tuesday - mine was Easter eggs. Are they getting smaller and if so, is that a good thing. Not a subject I had been able to prepare in advance!
The Newbury group meets every second and fourth Tuesday evening at the rugby club - more details at www.newburyspeakers.org