The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears. And when you’re a member of an HOA board that often requires speaking up as part of your duties, overcoming this fear to can be scary and daunting.
However, there are some great techniques that can help you when it’s time to speak your mind. Practicing these four tips can give you more confidence and help in overcoming your fear at the next meeting.
Understand What You’re Afraid Of
It’s important to always remember that you’re not alone in your fear. Public speaking is hard for many people. The key is to let yourself admit that you fear speaking in public and to know that patience and practice will help you overcome it. You can practice by speaking about different topics, in front of different types of people, and for different lengths of time. It doesn’t matter when or about what—the key is that you practice.
Know the Audience
As you prepare for speaking at the meeting, consider the environment and those who will be your audience. Since you are a board member and have been to these meetings before (unless you are a new HOA board member and it’s your first), you have the advantage of already understanding the environment and tone. Plus you’re community will likely have a set time for members to speak up.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Don’t assume you have to walk into the meeting and start talking on-the-fly. Present your speech beforehand on a topic you understand well. Use your knowledge as a board member to guide your confidence in what you will say. Don’t be scared to use your notes as you’re talking, and anticipate any questions that might be asked.
Focus on One Person at a Time
Instead of attempting to talk to everyone in the room at the same time, it’s helpful to focus on one person. Speak directly to them, then gradually switch to just one other person, then another, until you’re able to get more comfortable with the room. Even if you’re only speaking to a few people, this can still be a helpful technique in reducing overwhelm.
Hope is not lost for shy or introverted HOA board members when it comes to speaking up in meetings. With some practice, you can increase your comfort level with the process and manage it more easily. This is will you in being a great communicator with your fellow board members and those in the community.
For more information about HOA management in your Charlotte area community, contact Cedar Management Group today!