Having a fear of speaking in public is extremely common. In fact, about three out of every four individuals suffer from speech anxiety. As a tech entrepreneur, possessing a strong public speaking presence can be detrimental to your career and entrepreneurial success. Thankfully, this skill is malleable and can be improved upon. If you have been wondering how you can improve your own public speaking skills, check out these four potential barriers to success and how you can overcome them.
As any tech entrepreneur can tell you, failure is inevitable. One of the biggest obstacles people face when developing their public speaking skills is the haunting remembrance of a time when they forgot their words in front of crowd, or had to run off a stage after puking from stage freight. If you’ve had a horrible experience with public speaking, the first thing you should do is admit that you missed the mark in the past. Then, accept that learning opportunity and decide on what can be done differently in the future. Do you need more practice speaking in front of a smaller groups first? Or perhaps not drinking coffee before a big presentation can help calm your nerves.
Delivering a proper public presentation is only about 30% of what goes into public speaking. The other 70% is preparing what you want to say, and practicing it. Failure to prepare is another common reason speakers fail to impress while public speaking. Each person has their own preferred method of preparing for a speech or presentation. You may choose to write out what you plan on saying, to create a bullet-point list of key talking points, or to rehearse the presentation in front of a close friend. If you do choose to have someone else listen to your presentation before you give it, make sure you allow that person to give you feedback on how you did.
Lack Of Real Engagement
In today’s modern society, the internet is more accessible than it has ever been. Although texting and talking with your keyboard is more convenient and easier than talking in person, any public speaker can tell you that avoiding conversation in real life is not helpful in learning how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur. You need to learn how to think on your feet, and how to get back on topic in real time if you drift off on a tangent. You cannot learn how to read your audience behind a computer screen, and you certainly can’t feed off the hype they give you when you’re killing a speech.
Failure To Self-Evaluate
This is one of the most common entrepreneur mistakes being made. You cannot let any success you have had in the past go to your head, including previous public speaking wins. You need to constantly be evaluating your performance, and trying to improve on your weak points. A great method for doing this is to have a trusted friend watch your speech, then compare your notes. Ask yourself, did your friend have the same impression of your performance as you? Did they understand your message? Did you seem confident throughout the entire presentation?
Getting over a fear of public speaking can seem impossible, but it doesn’t need to be. As a tech entrepreneur, you are resilient. Just like any other skill you’ve learned, becoming a stronger public speaker takes time and practice. As long as you can identify what is holding you back, like a previous failure, you can learn to overcome it. So take the time to prepare for your next presentation, and have a friend help you assess how you did once you finish.