Originally Posted by Keith
This is pretty common. Many people don't realise that speaking is a skill - they just assume that they can automatically translate any thoughts that form in their head into speech. Nope, it takes practice.
Personally, I recommend Toastmasters. It's a great place to practice speaking in a supportive atmosphere.
I totally agree with these two posters. Speaking properly is a skill and must be mastered just like any other one. Not only that: a time will come when you will be articulate, but will find yourself shy and inarticulate again when nervous. You will also have to learn to overcome that. One thing is learning to speak and express yourself with correctness and passion... And another one is to learn to forget your fear of rejection or failure when doing so. The first requires skill training. The second, courage training, and you have to do that too.
As for me, I managed to "let loose" my courage and instinct by having fun. I am among the thousands who learnt to be less shy, more corageous and a better speaker by... role playing. AD&D, World of Darkness, Live-Action... That's how I did the greatest leap. I guess toastmasters is more professional, but role-playing is immensely fun.