Public speaking… just the mere mention of it has the power to strike fear into some entrepreneurs. A quick Google search will tell you that fear of public speaking is more common than you may think.
Regardless of how you feel about speaking in public, there’s no doubt that speaking in front of people is an incredibly powerful tool and has the ability to give your business an instant boost.
There’s no way around the fact that becoming a great public speaker takes practice. Below, our Shockwave business coaches have put together 5 speaking tips to get you started.
#1: Plan properly
Even the most seasoned of public speakers plan out their presentation. The key is all about knowing what topic you’re going to be focusing on, staying on topic throughout your presentation and linking your presentation together in a way that flows and engages your audience.
There really is no such thing as ‘winging it’ in the public speaking space. You may have heard people comment that they just get up on-stage and everything tends to come together but this is definitely a dangerous way to approach any speaking event. If you’re a beginner, write out your presentation, practice it, record yourself on your phone, listen back to your presentation and refine it. Once you’re confident your presentation is where it needs to be, get someone to tape you on your phone so that you can see how you look when presenting. Pay particular attention to your body language and facial expressions. You want to look confident and relaxed at all times.
#3: Use the tools available to you
For beginners, having a PowerPoint presentation to help them to stay on track and on point can be a really valuable tool. Your slides should contain as few words as possible – you need people to focus on you sharing your story, not struggling to read your presentation. Visuals are also incredibly powerful. Always have notes with you but never aim to read off your notes.
#4: End with a bang and your call to action
Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Every good presentation also has a beginning, a middle and an end. Remember to leave your audience with a bang and whatever call to action you’re looking to convey. If you’re pressed for time (usually, presentations will have a time limit), do your best to wrap things up quickly, without losing any of your key points.
#5: Experience, experience, experience!
Just like anything else, the more you push yourself to speak in public, the better and more confident you’ll become. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things where you’re going to have to be brave initially and push yourself to experience the highs and lows that come with public speaking.
One of our most important tips for public speaking is this: keep on showing up! So many of us have horrific public speaking stories to share but if you don’t continue doing it, you will never improve.
When we’ve coached clients whose fears are incredibly overwhelming for them, we ask them to look back at all of the things in business they were once afraid of but can now do without thinking. That’s a great approach to take if you’re genuinely scared of speaking in front people.
If you need one-on-one help with public speaking or anything else business related, get in touch with us and we’ll match you with a Shockwave business coach. It’s one phone call that could change your business and life forever. Reach us on: 03 9111 5628.