I do not like public speaking. Don't like it one bit. (see Confessions of an Introvert) But I do it, because it needs to be done. In the last few year I have gotten *almost* comfortable speaking to groups, especially the nice receptive, interesting ones.
I gave my 10 minute presentation today for my BNI (Brighton's Best BNI) in Rochester, NY. I think it went well, and I got a fair amount of positive feedback. It is nice to give a presentation to a room full of engaged, receptive audience members. It makes the trepidation subside.
BNI has been good to me that way. As a Networking group I have met some real power-house contacts, gotten a ton of great business, and been embraced by a friendly interesting group that supports me, and will laugh at my jokes, and be comfortable referring me to their contacts.
I have another networking group that I attend, but they have purposely been less strict about attendance, (BNI required attendance or a sub each week, with 6 absenses only per year). The group is falling apart. They always do. People complain about the strict guidlines and format of BNI, but it works... As long as you have a great group and you stick to the agenda.
There are challenges anytime you bring a group of people together to network, (or anything else) but today I am very grateful to my business networking group here in Rochester! Thank you Brighton's Best.