Make a New Year’s resolution to improve your speaking skills. I recommend that you join Toastmasters.
The organization has nearly 250,000 members in more than 12,500 clubs in 106 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience.
Here is an article from Toastmasters to help you gain confidence speaking in front of people:
- Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
- Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.
- Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
- Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids. Read the rest of the article here: http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp