Public Speaking 101: Overcoming Anxiety

You have heard us talk often in this space about the value of speaking when it comes to establishing credibility and expertise. Because of the fear most people have of public speaking, the simple fact that you are willing and able to give speeches on your industry establishes you as an expert in the minds of many people. However, speaking can be very intimidating… so below are three tips to help you overcome anxiety and give great speeches:

1) Thoroughly prepare your presentation / speech. The best antidote to nervousness is impeccable preparation. Don’t procrastinate—make sure that you have all of your content organized well in advance. This includes any slide shows, illustrations, or other visuals. Tailor your content to your audience and make sure that you’re confident in every element of the presentation.

2) Write a great introduction. Devote time to coming up with a great “hook” for your speech. You will be able to sense that you’ve drawn your audience in—and you’ll feel relaxed and totally in control. If you’re not sure how to begin, think about a statement that sums up a problem facing most members of your audience. If you’re speaking to retail store owners, a stat about employee theft will likely catch everyone’s attention!

3) Adjust your expectations. Much of the anxiety felt before a speaking event stems from a fear of mistakes. But here’s the thing: even the best speakers in the world make mistakes. Therefore, it’s inevitable that you will too. Whether it’s mispronouncing a word, losing your place in your notes, or losing your train of thought… you are going to make mistakes. When you realize and accept this fact, much of the pressure goes away. Don’t aim for perfection—just get up there and deliver valuable content to your audience.

You are an expert in your line of work. There is no reason that you can’t find opportunities to speak—whether it’s in an industry conference, a trade association, or other event. Speaking gives your personal brand a massive credibility boost—so don’t let your nerves hold you back. Contact us today to learn more!