WE'VE all been there: our palms start sweating, we feel multiple eyes glaring at us and we fear we will blurt out something embarrassing.
Knowing how to speak well and confidently in public is important - whether toasting a special occasion, presenting an oral assignment at school or making a best man's speech at a wedding.
Any of these common scenarios could potentially end in disaster.
Kawana Waters Toastmasters Sue Kruger first attended a Toastmasters meeting 14 years ago and recalls how frightened she was to speak in public, up until that point.
"It terrified me to stand up in front of people," she recalled.
Two months of Toastmasters' meetings passed before she could bring herself to stand and say, "Hi, my name is Sue Kruger," in front of the strangers.
Ms Kruger joined the association to overcome her fear of speaking in public and fulfil her goal of teaching cake decorating classes.
She has since become a seasoned speaker with her home club, and has been a Master of Ceremonies at an event and spoken at presentations at state and national level for cake decorating.
"I was too nervous to speak and, yes, now I teach cake decorating," Ms Kruger said.
Professional speaking coach Blossom Benedict has helped people of all ages and backgrounds overcome their fears.
The confident American travels the world offering tips to help people find their voice in front of others.
Blossom uses simple tools and questions in her interactive show to help people to break down barriers and unlock their voice.
1. Let down your barriers. Before you speak, take a deep breath and intentionally push down anything that makes you want to protect or defend yourself.
2. Focus on putting your audience at ease.
3. Ask: Is this fear or excitement? Blossom says we are naturally afraid of things that are actually quite exciting. Use the adrenalin and excitement to your advantage.
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