Jenny Kessell says there are people who would rather be dead than deliver an eulogy.
So the Geraldton Universities Centre lecturer has created a group to cut through the nerves.
“It’s all about promoting good communication,” Mrs Kessell said.
“For job interviews, presentations in the workplace, public speaking and just in general.”
Mrs Kessell has brought Toastmasters International to Geraldton.
Toastmasters is a US- headquartered organisation designed to tackle the fear of public speaking, which is thought to have reached near-epidemic levels in Australian workplaces.
On the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, Mrs Kessell will open her GUC classroom to members of the public who want to nip this fear — known as glossophobia — in the bud.
Mrs Kessell, who is the Toastmasters Geraldton president, said the biggest problem she had observed was waffling.
“People go off-topic a lot when they speak,” she said.
“So we are teaching members to have an introduction, body and conclusion to deliver their points.
“We also just want to inspire confidence in people, as we hear people always feel really nervous when they have to stand up in front of others.”
People are welcome to attend the next Toastmasters at the GUC’s B Block building, on January 14 from 6.30pm.
Mrs Kessell said she was hoping to see more fresh faces in the new year.
To join, call her on 0409 384 218.