You are not alone! Being a college student myself, I see first-hand, students that are terrified to speak to people or groups of people. Whether the “talking” is for a group presentation in front of the class, or holding a simple conversation with another person, many become victim to the fear of simply “speaking”. I start off with college students as I am a college student myself, but I see these fears and trends in elementary school students to middle aged adults – for some the adaptation comes with time but, for others, if nothing is done besides worrying then it will always be a worry.
So, why do you need to be social? Why do you need to network? Well, no one NEEDS do anything; let’s all make that clear. But for those who want to have a “network” of people, and to have opportunities always opening for them, then you will NEED, and quite honeslty WANT, to network… You’ll even probably begin to enjoy it once you start! Grabbing a cup of coffee, or go for lunches etc., it can be a really fun experience. From my personal standpoint, I was that kid who was terrified to present in front of the class all the way through high school. It would keep me awake nights before my presentation and I would procrastinate into making myself the last to present. I then had an “Ah ha” moment my freshman/sophomore year of college at UMass Lowell. I become involved with the Finance Society on campus Freshman year and later that year I became part of the E-Board. With this role came presenting in front of the club members. Don’t get me wrong, my first presentation still had me very nervous but then I began to think about simply “having a conversation” with the audience. This is where I began to gain confidence, and especially with the help of my Professional Communications class, I put myself outside of my comfort zone and began to speak in front of people when given the opportunity.
I am a student, Realtor, job seeker, & very entrepreneurial minded. The value of networking and being able to speak or reach out to people for whatever reason, whether it be a phone call, or an in-person meeting, has and continues to be instrumental in my lifestyle. Whether it be networking to learn how to run a business from a mentor, interviewing for a job, having an initial consultation to sell someone’s house, the opportunities for me are extremely broad. That is exactly how I like it. It gives me the availability and flexibility to reach out to a wide array of people. What is important to realize is that you don’t need a reason to reach out to someone, you may just want to connect with them and get to know them… they can then be part of your “network” … Now that network is as valuable as you make it and you NEVER know WHO may know WHO. This is the ULTIMATE value of networking! A great way to keep track of your network is by connecting with these people on LinkedIn. I encourage & challenge everyone, no matter their profession, to use implement these strategies!
Well, Jake, you have shown me the extreme value in being able to speak in front of people and how that an translate into building a valuable network BUT, I am still terrified… How do I overcome this phobia? The key is EXPOSURE and GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. It wont be easy the first time, or the second time, but each time you push yourself out of your comfort zone it becomes more “normal” to you. I gave you my personal experiences and how it has & continues to help me, now it is YOUR turn to create the opportunities you deserve! Don’t be afraid… Make that call!
Feel free to reach out to me anytime, for anything!
Jacob C. Ashley
Ready Real Estate