Get Better at Public Speaking with 3 Top Tips!
Does the thought of standing up in front of people fill you with dread?
Most of us hate speaking in public, never mind telling everyone how amazing we are!
Whether it’s competing to win that next contract, get that next promotion, or even speaking up in a meeting, putting ourselves out there can feel scary. It’s reassuring to know that failing publicly is one of the most common fears amongst high performing professional people!
But for some of us, NOT speaking up is getting in the way of advancing in our professional or personal life. Not being given the opportunities or acknowledgement we feel we deserve – even just being noticed as someone with a valued opinion or great potential.
I used to be terrified of standing up in front of people (even now, depending on the audience, I still am!). But as a professional coach I have learned how to put myself out there and overcome my own fears, and I have tools and tips to help others who ‘hate’ public speaking to do the same. Believe me, I’ve learnt the hard way that you can’t hard to blow your own trumpet when your mouths clamped shut!!
Here are my 3 top tips for blowing your own trumpet:
Prepare as much as you can – and don’t give up!
When thinking about speaking in front of others, we often think the worst. We worry about doing it badly, we worry about looking stupid or saying something wrong.
When we prepare, we can work through some of this worry. Preparing a speech, or a presentation well in advance will help us calm our jitters.
Sometimes, we are nervous about the chit chat beforehand. Sometimes it’s at the end. Whatever it is, if you can prepare your answers in advance, you will find it easier to calm your nerves.
It’s also important to practice, practice, practice. TedX presenters coach people to practice a ten-minute presentation at least ten times!
When I first started working as a coach, I used to do two presentations a month at my local library or community centre. Sometimes only a handful of people would even turn up! However, I learned that the only way I was going to get better at public speaking was to get out of my comfort zone and keep doing them.
The lesson I learnt was that to ‘connect’ with people I had to be out there in person. I grew my business by helping people who came to these initial presentations!
Eventually my confidence grew, and I felt a little bit more comfortable. Now I can speak to a room with over 150 people!
Take any action you can to feel better about doing it.
If we are to feel more confident about speaking in public, we need to address why we feel anxious or worried.
When we think about why we might be feeling a certain way we can take actions that will make us feel confident and more positive.
Maybe we have a childhood memory of being laughed at, or maybe we are afraid of saying something stupid. What we can do is recall anything positive anyone ever told you that made you feel proud – and seen, heard and valued! This could be a reference from a past tutor, or a manager that says how awesome we are. This action (feeling validated by another we respect) can change our outlook and make us feel more positive about how we are perceived by others. Quite often how we perceive ourselves isn’t how others perceive us at all!
When it comes to body language, we can also think about what it is that we find difficult and think about what we can do to help ourselves feel more comfortable.
Do we sit or stand? Do we walk up and down or stay in one spot? What do we do with our hands? When our body language is positive, not only do we look more self-confident, but it has a positive impact on our audience, and they will be more receptive.
Have someone coach you through it.
Do you feel like you are missing out on opportunities to shine? Do you want to increase your chances of getting that next job or winning that contract? Do you just want to feel more prepared and confident when facing the ‘creeping death’ of a weekly team meeting?
A personal coach can help you improve your public speaking skills so that you can improve your presentation skills, learn how to overcome fear and self-doubt, increase your confidence and help you put you to be seen, heard and valued even more highly.
I offer personal coaching, workplace coaching and presentation training. I specialise in helping people who struggle with self-doubt, anxiety and being kind to themselves. Taking action is one of the best ways I know to comabat anxiety, if you’re ready lets talk.
To find out more, book yourself in for a free 15/30 minute chat here vickyevans.com/online-booking