Overcoming fear of speaking with apps?

In the October issue, the Readers’ Post section of the magazine of Onze Taal contains a letter from Martin Kabos of Almere Toastmasters. In it, he responds to an article about the pros and cons of apps to overcome fear of speaking, and indicates what Toastmasters can contribute to overcoming fear of speaking. Worth reading!

In the July/August issue, Sjaak Baars and Jolien Strous describe in their article ‘Never more clammy hands?’ the advantages and disadvantages of apps and other virtual aids to overcome fear of speaking.

In their introduction, the authors quote the famous Roman orator Quintilian, who says that a speaker “should speak daily in front of a number of listeners, preferably people whose opinion and critical judgment we care about.” This is of course possible with virtual audience, but it might be better to practice your speeches at a ‘Toastmasters club’. There you will find the group of listeners that Quintilianus recommends in a safe environment. Toastmasters is an American non-profit organization where, with solid didactic material in thousands of clubs worldwide, members do exactly what the great master advises: practice as much as possible, with a real audience.

Contrary to what happens with the apps, it doesn’t make you sick, and the er counter accurately keeps track of all the stop words for you. A grammarian pays attention to your use of language and an evaluator points out your strengths and areas for improvement. You will also receive written feedback from all attendees (there is no teacher). Members give both prepared speeches and impromptu.

By making many flying hours as a speaker in the stimulating and positive environment of a Toastmasters club, you gradually overcome your fear of speaking and get a flying start as a speaker.

Submitted letter in Our Language