According to INC magazine, public speaking is no longer considered a “soft” skill. In a world of ideas, “persuasion” is more important than ever. A wealthy entrepreneur at Y-Combinator, the iconic investment firm behind startups such as Reddit and Airbnb said "If an entrepreneur can't tell a convincing story, I'm not investing. You call it soft. I call it fundamental.". Most everyone has done some form of public speaking one way or another. Whether at the dinner table or at family outings, at a party, at the bar, we all have spoken publicly and may not even realize it. Some people love an audience, others are not so sure. Some people simply hate it!
There are ways to make public speaking more manageable, tolerable, definitely rewarding. And in today’s fast paced world where communication and ideas are more important than ever, being able to articulate one’s thoughts persuasively has never been more important.
Jim Alfieri founded Fairfield Public Speakers in 2010 to help people from any industry practice and hone their speaking skills. Fairfield Public Speakers meets twice a month at Sullivan Hall in Fairfield. Now, due to popular demand, Jim has taken on some advisory work for individuals in business who want to improve their communications skills. At the age of 11, Jim had to read in front of about 450 teachers and students, and in the middle of his reading, the microphone stopped working. He was petrified. And the teachers did not make his experience any better after that event. Instead of helping him through it, they simply ignored him for the rest of the year. Jim carried that trauma with him all the way into his late 20’s.
Jim reluctantly joined Toastmasters and battled his public speaking fears. Eventually, he had to give presentations to companies like Chevron, American Express, BMW. “ I was usually ill the night before, getting no sleep and fearing the worst. But gradually, mostly on my own, I overcame my fear of public speaking. I still get nervous, but I embrace the nerves and have learned how to manage them better”, says Jim.
Jim started Fairfield Public Speakers in 2010- to help people from all walks of life learn how to cope with public speaking issues. Many of his club members have grown to manage and improve their ability to speak in public. Without the UMMS, Likes and You know’s! For more information, visit Fairfield Public Speakers at Meetup.com, or visit jamesalfieri.com