The fear of public speaking is real. Only 26% of the population actually loves speaking in front of large groups of people.
The other 74% of the people have speech anxiety. Some may be able to handle it, but they don’t love it. Some, however, get so anxious that they become physically ill at even the thought of speaking in front of an audience.
It’s obvious that most of the population dislikes public speaking, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. For an entrepreneur, it’s an essential way to market yourself.
Check out these five tips on how to embrace speaking events to take your career to the next level.
1. Check Demographics
A great speaker must know who they’re speaking to, otherwise, how will they know the right thing to say?
You wouldn’t want to give a scientifically complex speech about quantum physics to a group of real estate agents. Not only do you want your audience to understand you, but you want to share information that interests them. To do this, you’ll need to make sure you know your audience before you even begin writing your speech.
Once you know your audience, they won’t feel so unfamiliar to you. Collect their demographics.
What is their age? What industry do they work in? Allow this to shape your speech.
2. Hook Your Audience
First impressions are everything, and the same is true for public speaking.
To hook your audience, you need to start with a big idea or statement that will catch their attention. It can even be an interesting question or story.
Instead of the audience focusing on you, they will focus on your words. A story will paint them a picture, and a question will force them to think. If they’re reflecting on your words, they have no time to judge you.
3. Make It Engaging
The hook should be engaging, but engagement goes beyond words. Try to incorporate visual aids, smartphone apps, or Q&A.
When you bring in visuals, make sure they matter. No one wants to listen to a boring regurgitation of Powerpoint slides they could read themselves.
Additionally, how you use body language or move around the stage can increase your engagement.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
In the movies, they always show people practicing in front of the mirror. While this is a good way to start, effective practice goes beyond this.
Once you’ve got the words down, practice that engaging body language and stage blocking that you plan to use. Then, get a mock audience of your peers to watch you. It will help calm your nerves to simulate the environment of speaking events.
5. Get Some Inspiration
Finally, look to some public speaking pros for guidance. You don’t need to know them personally–even watching a few TED Talks will do!
Conquering Speaking Events
Public speaking is not easy. You’re all alone on stage, facing dozens of strangers. If you do it right, however, it can be extremely rewarding–both professionally and personally.
If you’re looking for more ways to expand your career, make sure to visit my blog.