The thing they don’t tell you about networking is that it really helps if you’re a confident speaker – a slight drawback for someone who is quite shy really. It’s an essential part of my week, spending time to build my business and increase my network of contacts – I really enjoy talking to people and finding out what I can do to help their businesses grow by telling other friends about them and making recommendations.
I’m fine when I’ve met someone a couple of times and on a one to one basis, but that initial part where you have to stand up in front of a group of ‘yet to be friends’, and say your name and give a pitch about your business, quite frankly just terrifies me. Sticky palms, someone unleashes the butterflies and I stand up, with less nerves than the first time I did it, but it’s still not my favourite thing to do! That was until Dave stepped in – it’s just practice he said, the more of it you do, the easier it will become, and the more preparation you do, the more confident you will be – common sense really but I needed to put it into practice.
Tell a story he said, we all like stories and we remember them. He then invited me to attend the Epsom Speakers Club – a group of people who meet twice a month and who want to gain more confidence, enjoy speaking in public and overcome nerves; they speak with enthusiasm and confidence as they talk to a room full of people without being a quivering wreck!
So I went along, with my camera, to listen and observe, and hopefully absorb some of the tips they gave each other. The speakers were amazing – they talked about a variety of subjects, gave each other valuable feedback in the way of an evaluation speech given by another member. The evening went by in a flash – everyone I spoke to had different reasons for attending and the overwhelming feeling in the room was one of support for each other - having the shared goal of improving their own public speaking skills.
Through a number of photos, I’ve endeavoured to capture the feeling in the room – I did get a bit distracted when the speakers were so enthusiastic about their topics! If you would like to find out more, visit their website and go along - http://www.epsomspeakers.co.uk