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You can overcome

If you have the problem, you can overcome it, probably not all at once, but gradually. Here's how: Begin to accept, or even seek out, minor opportunities to talk on your feet. Anything that will get you out of your seat and on your feet can be nothing but beneficial. Volunteer to read a devotional in your church or synagogue, make announcements at club meetings, accept club offices or committee chairmanships. Join a discussion group or a book club. You might even call a radio talk show and express your views on a subject you feel strongly about. Don't laugh. Many callers to radio talk shows begin by saying how nervous they are to be on the air.

It's also a good idea to sign up for a course in public speaking. You'll probably be surprised to find many of your classmates have the same fears that you have. Workshops and seminars on public speaking are offered periodically in major cities. If you live near a college, check its schedule of evening courses. Many schools offer courses. Professional and trade associations such as the American Management Association offer public-speaking seminars. If there's a Toastmasters Club in your area, that's also a good bet. That organization has a good program of self-improvement.


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