I know that speaking in public is hard for most people. Even though I find public speaking completely exhilarating, I still remember a time (I was much younger then) when I would rather have had a root canal and a rash than speak in front of a group.
Lately I have been sourcing speakers for one thing or another and have been surprised at the number of people who are not willing to speak because of their fear of speaking in public.
There are lots of rewards for being willing to speak in public. It can bring publicity to your business and products. As a speaker, you become an expert or at least an authority on certain subjects and a resource for people in your industry. If you’re not the owner of the business, it can be a great help in furthering your career.
Give it some thought, and in case you decided to do it, here are a few tips to get you over the first few hurdles:
1. It doesn’t matter if you’re nervous. Unless you tell your audience that you’re nervous (which you shouldn’t), they won’t know. You think they can see your nervousness but they don’t.
2. Don’t worry that you might forget something, no one in the audience knows what you are going to say anyway, so if you forget something keep going. If it’s really important go back to it.
3. Be straightforward with your audience. If you make a mistake, tell them you misspoke and correct yourself.
4. Practice your talk in front of a mirror. Check your body language and facial expressions. Also close your eyes and check out how your face and body feel when you are speaking too quickly. There’s a difference in how they feel when you are speaking quickly or slowly.
5. Find a couple of people you trust to give you their honest opinions and ask them how you did.
Lastly, enjoy yourself! The first few times may be nerve-racking but you’ll soon get used to it. And if you don’t – at least that’s one thing off the bucket list.
A tip of the glass from me to you!