How to create more opportunities by speaking in public and delivering a great, impactful presentation.Download Podcast
Speak with confidence to boost your career, your business, your studies
People often tell me that they would be terrified to have to go on stage and deliver a speech or presentation. I've had lots of practice of doing this: I started at an early age as captain of the debating team in secondary school.
I can totally empathise with those who feel those nerves: I still experience them myself all the time. I'm sorry to hear, though, that they are so scared they are robbing themselves of wonderful opportunities.
Whether it's an employee standing up to present at their team's weekly meeting, whether it's a business owner needing to secure a sale from an important client, or somebody who wants to say a meaningful few words about a loved one at a special occasion, speaking in public is a key to turbo-boosting your career and a most useful life skill.
Trying to do without it is so much more difficult and time-consuming: yes, it's a fair amount of effort, but the returns are absolutely amazing.
So in this episode of the Savvy Podcast I would like to pass on my best tips as a public speaker: how to overcome your shyness step by step, how to deliver your presentation with poise and confidence, and my step-by-step checklist for before, during and after your best, most impactful speech to date.
That infamous statistic that more people are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of death...
Many of you may have heard the claim that fear of public speaking is the number one fear, before even fear of death. We focus on all the things that could go wrong and the idea that we could end up alone, on stage, in the spotlight, in front of a sea of faces, sends cold shivers down our spine.
It is also, sadly, a well-documented fact that many women are afraid of speaking up and putting themselves forward. Shyness isn't gender-specific, though, and anybody who had rather remain quiet is missing out on fantastic opportunities.
However, with the right guidance and practice, you don't have to remain stuck in the choice between avoiding it completely, or being sick to your stomach through the whole thing. There is a much, much better way to progressively be more confident as a speaker.
You don't have to be anything apart from yourself
In the podcast I also share a step-by-step framework to guide your efforts in the right direction, from the moment you are asked to speak, to the moment you have successfully delivered your presentation.
One of the absolute best ways to deliver a powerful presentation, while also engaging your audience, and making your speech easier to remember - all at the same time!-, is to share a story with your listeners.
A personal story, taken from your experience, where you show your feelings, will draw people in and keep them interested.
This, incidentally, was the exact theme of my TEDx talk. Even though other speakers had stories a hundred times more impressive to tell, by being true to my experience I offered a talk that people in the audience could relate to.
Now, how do you learn to overcome shyness and tell an interesting story? The answer is to...
Practice, practice, practice
What most of us lack when it comes to speaking in public is practice, and some tips from those who have been there and done that. I am very grateful that I received excellent coaching from my English teachers. One of their best pieces of advice: "Learn to enjoy the nerves."
If you're afraid of making a blunder, stuttering, forgetting a slide, drawing a blank, anything and everything... Know that I've been there and done that. In my career as a public speaker I have committed all of these and many more. So listen for my tips - and you'll see a good number of them are about preparation and practice, because the actual presentation is only the tip of the iceberg.
Then - get ready to rock that stage!
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Resources mentioned in the podcast:
Barbara Moynihan, On Your Feet