Public speaking is almost an essential for success nowadays—and definitely a major factor in creating a powerful brand. Those who take their courage into their hands and accept or seek speaking engagements tend to outpace their competitors in branding, authority and reach.
There are three things you need to do before you can walk into a public speaking engagement without either dying of fright or feeling like a fraud. First, you need to dip your toe into the shallow end and get used to the water. Second, you need to be able to present yourself like a public speaking pro. Last, you need to look like a pro and be sure what you're wearing is not distracting from your talk
People will hire you based on what they see when they check you out. So let them know exactly what they’re getting, and reassure them that you are the person for their organization.
If you are socially shy or extremely introverted then remember that it is okay to start with baby steps. Before even thinking of giving a formal ‘talk’, your first step is to expand that comfort zone, bit by bit.
Here are two easy ways to do that.
Online: In a Facebook group you feel comfortable in, give a one-minute-or-less Facebook Live video on any topic that inspires you
Offline: Make a commitment to speaking to three extra people you don’t know, every time you go out. Do this at church, in the grocery store, in the doctor’s office, and so forth.
Part of showing up like a pro is preparation. Knowing you are well-prepared and practiced can inspire more confidence than all the pep talks in the world. Preparation includes many tasks and elements, from having a wonderful Speaker Sheet to hand out (or for people to download from your website) to making sure you are well-hydrated before you talk to getting used to the sound of your own voice.
Sometimes we’re really uncomfortable with is the sound of our own voices. In fact, this objection is so common-place, it’s more unusual to find someone new to public speaking who loves their own voice. Dry mouth, tight throat and racing heart, etc. that one experiences before speaking is just a natural fight-or-flight response and is completely normal. Practice your talk, get used to the sound of your own voice, and do some vocal exercises to warm up your voice to project a confidence and poise on stage.
When you dress with confidence you'll speak with confidence. The key however, is to ensure that what you're saying resonates with your audience, colleagues, and potential clients. You want to inspire confidence in others and you can only do that if you have that inspired confidence in yourself. Knowing what to wear (including the right color, style, pattern, and silhouette) will help you to exude competence and ensure your audience can "see" your expertise.
Wearing the wrong thing will have your audience focused on what you're wearing and not what you're saying. Remember, we "see" before we "hear" and if you're distracting your audience by what you're wearing, you will NOT win them over by what you're saying. And when the audience isn't with you it will feed into your fears and impact on what you're saying and how you're presenting.
Speaking on stage is a powerful way to build authority, and establish your brand. But don't be afraid to start as small or as slowly as you like.
Don’t wait to make the money or gain the credibility you deserve. Put all the tips and techniques I’ve share with you to use. Also, don't forget to create that Speaker Sheet on your website. Need help putting one together, contact me today!
And remember, you won’t always be mind-numbingly nervous. Get social, practice, and dress for success and it will all go fabulously well.
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine!
P.S., If you need help creating your Speaker Sheet, creating your Signature Talk, improving your presentation skills, and creating a visual impact on stage so you’re coming off confident, credible, polished, and authentic, schedule a free Strategy Session with me TODAY.