Shoes, Booze, and Smooze – The Zappos Way Of Management

You would think that with a title like this that it would a) have nothing to do with public speaking, and b) have nothing to do with running a billion dollar business. The fact is, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh uses all three methods and then some to run his billion dollar empire. Although he is naturally shy and wasn’t a great speaker, he has found ways to become a super-star speaker.
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Public Speaking Fear Quote Of The Week – May 20th, 2009

“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

The former First Lady had an extreme fear of public speaking. However, she was considered by most as an extremely polished and experience speaker. From this quote we can see that she spent a considerable amount of time battling the fear by doing the thing she feared.

We can all take a lesson from her.

Speak well.

Passion Is The Opposite Of Fear

Let me start by asking you a question. What are you passionate about? What is it in your life that really holds your interest and excites you? Is it your family? Is it your hobby? Is it your pet teacup chihuahua? Whatever it is I am willing to bet that you could go on for hours talking about your “passion”. Even if you don’t like talking (especially in front of a crowd) you would have no problem talking about this subject. Did you ever think why?
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A birthday wish

Today marks a milestone in my life. I turned 40. As I sit here and write this, I am thinking to myself “How did I get here so fast?” I find it hard to believe that 40 years have gone by. I’m also sitting here thinking “what have I done with my time here so far?”

When I think of this in terms of personal growth and development, I’m reminded that it’s been 22 years since I started my journey to public speaking success and controlling my fear. I can’t believe that it’s been so long since the days of having absolute panic attacks at the thought of getting up in front of a crowd.

I am thankful to my high school English teach, Mr. Doran, for making the class do a public speaking project in my senior year. This was one of those rare moments in your life that changes who you are and who you will become. I honestly think that without his help, I would not be able to do the things I do today.

I also look back at the opportunities that I have had to just get up and speak or just be in front of a crowd. I’m glad that I had the courage and support to help me overcome what was once a debilitating fear. It wasn’t always easy. But the more I did it, the easier it got. I took advantage of every opportunity I had to gain experience and learn new skills. I’m at the point now where the thought of being in front of a crowd is more exciting than scary.

My birthday wish is that each one of you who has some kind of fear, whether it’s fear of public speaking, fear of flying, or fear of little stuffed animals (yes, it’s a real fear), can find the strength, courage, and support that you need to help control, and ultimately conquer your fear. I hope that you can one day look back at your life and be as happy as I am with what you’ve accomplished. It won’t always be easy. But I guarantee the results of your hard work will pay off.

Speak well!

Other Toastmaster Benefits

The other day I started thinking a lot about the benefits of joining Toastmasters as it relates to helping me control my fear of public speaking. I’ve written about this in the past, but I didn’t realize how much this was connected to my membership in Toastmasters.
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