How Do I Conquer My Fear of Public Speaking?
Today on the blog we’re going to be talking about two words that strike fear into the hearts of millions. You ready? Public. Speaking. Yes, the fear of public speaking is real, folks!
If you just got the tiniest knot in your gut reading those words, I totally get it. I mean—and this is the honest-to-goodness truth—I started giving little talks in Sunday School when I was like three years old…but the idea of speaking in public has always made me super uncomfortable.
All of those eyes on you.
Watching your every move.
And you know that they’re either checking their watch to see when you’re going to be done or (maybe worse) actually listening to what you have to say. And oh my gosh! What if what you have to say is really awful?!
Tips to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking
Well, slow the roll there folks, because I’m here to share some tips on public speaking. Why? Because I actually HAD TO DO IT. In a room full of 3500 people who actually were going to LISTEN to what I had to say.
Fortunately, I know some really amazing people, and they are absolute rock stars when it comes to public speaking. I went to them to pick their proverbial brains about what makes a presentation super effective versus super…well…boring.
I learned five fantastic tips designed to help me—and you—overcome the fear of public speaking.
Big breath, because here’s the first one:
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
Let that sink in.
If you have been asked to share information, whether it’s in your kiddo’s classroom or a room full of high-paid executives, it all boils down to THEM. What will THEY learn? What will benefit THEM? How can you make THEIR experience better?
Yes, you’re the one up there and you want to feel good about the information you’re sharing. But at the end of the day, it’s what you have to share that can impact your audience’s lives that matters. Everybody in that audience is there to learn, and they’ve invested time or money or both to find out what you have to say.
Are you going to connect with every single person?
And that’s okay. Even if you are able to connect with one person and make a difference for THEM, then you’ve succeeded.
Now let me lay down this idea: this same rule applies whether you’re in a room filled with people or you’re sitting in front of your phone doing a Facebook live.
Of course, you want to do well, but really…you’re there to demonstrate how what you offer will make the person on the other side of that screen happier or healthier or whatever the benefits of your product might be. When you weave that story about how the pair of earrings you’re holding is perfect for a well-deserved date night or how the tee-shirt you’ll be sending is sooooooo soft that they’ll want to sleep it in, you’ve made it all about people you can’t even see.
Okay, tip number two: TAKE YOUR PEEPS UP THERE WITH YOU.
Let's be honest: you probably can't take your husband or kids or BFF or whoever physically onto the stage with you. But find ways to make them part of your presentation. Show pictures and tell stories about them. I loved having images of my family and my BecauseICan Clan on the screen behind me. It calmed me down, made me feel less alone and allowed me to share the message I'd come to deliver. AND it makes the people in the audience instantly relate to you as the speaker as well. It just feels more authentic.
Tip number three: VISUALIZE.
Starting is always the hardest part, right? When you're going to speak to people, those first moments are probably the scariest part. That's why it's important to think about the first 30 seconds of your presentation over and over and over. For me, I saw myself walking up onto that stage in front of 3500 people. I visualized that process repeatedly so that when I actually did it, I felt super comfortable. I'd been there before (if only in my mind) so I was ready to go.
Tip number four: PRAY.
I absolutely believe in the power of prayer and that God gave me my journey so that I'd share it with others. I believe He has done the same for you too. Taking time to pray can provide reassurance, calm your nerves, and give you a reminder of why you're there and the opportunity to have to bless and help others. If you aren't a person who prays, consider meditating so that you can center yourself spiritually as you prepare for your public speaking opportunity.
Tip number five: START IN THE MIDDLE (and with the end in mind.)
The amazing Julie Stoian was kind enough to share her time and expertise with me as I planned for my event, and she gave me a wonderful piece of advice: start in the middle. How do you want to make people feel? What do you want them to learn? Build your presentation not thinking about how to start, but how you want you and your audience to feel when it's over.
Click the link to get the free download on how you can overcome your fear of public speaking too. (Look for it via Facebook Messenger.)
Trust me when I say that even if you already consider yourself to be a pretty dang good public speaker, you’ll learn a few tips that will make your next presentation even more amazing.
Give it a look-see.
You’ll be crazy glad you did.