Do you avoid speaking opportunities because you are afraid to get up in front of others?
Everyone gets nervous the first time they get in front of an audience to speak. Even the most engaging people in small groups can freeze on stage. You are not alone in your fears.
Accepting and seeking speaking engagements can do heaps of good for your career, your business and your success. Having spoken in front of groups gives you:
- An opportunity to “sell” you and your company’s story and mission.
- Find supporters to help you move to the next level.
With this much to gain, fear still keeps most people from crossing the stage. There are things you can do to make it easier to put yourself into the lime light.
- Start small and do some little step every opportunity you get.
- Avoid caffine when you are going to speak.
- Take slow, deep breaths before starting to speak.
- Write a script, organize it, outline it and then put the major points on index cards. Commit the talk itself to memory, don’t put too much in your notes.
- Practice saying it in front of a mirror or video yourself. The more times you say what you want to say, the easier it will be to do it on stage.
- Talk slow. It’s not a race and you will loose people’s attention if you move too quickly through your topic.
If you haven’t done much talking I highly recommend you join a Toastmasters group in your area. You will be able to practice and hone your skills, make great contacts, and truly become a rocket star at speaking in no time. The hardest speech is always your first, so do it someplace like Toastmasters that won’t affect your career and will help you improve every meeting.