If there’s one thing that gets people’s guard up in an instant it’s public speaking. It’s estimated that three out of four individuals have speech anxiety and you’ve probably heard about folks being more afraid of public speaking than of death.
It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking about how to succeed in business or how to start an entrepreneurship blog or how to start a business or you’re talking about yourself, public speaking can be a chore and it can affect a career. On average, those who have speech anxiety make about 10% less than those who don’t.
But if you’re someone who has a propensity for public speaking, there’s a lot that can be gained from mastering a skill like that. You never know, you may even be able to turn that into a business. If you don’t believe it’s possible, think about famous self-help gurus or speakers or even politicians. Yes, those folks usually have an angle they’re trying to push, but they can command attention.
Even if you have a deep fear of public speaking, you can become a paid international speaker. How is that possible? These tips can help you make that happen:
- Practice: The old cliché “practice makes perfect applies to a lot of things, but it especially applies to public speaking. If you’re talking about an entrepreneurship blog or offering self-help tips, you need to work and work and work at what you want to say and how you want to say it. This is backed up by research, which suggestions that the best presentations are 38% your voice, 55% non-verbal communication and only 7% of your content.
- Keep the message simple: Let’s say you’re an expert on how to start an entrepreneurship blog or how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur. That’s great that you’ve got all that knowledge, but if you’re communicating to an audience, you need to keep the message simple. Why? Audiences need to hear, digest and retain your message. You don’t want to bore people right out of the gate and you don’t want to leave anything important out. By whittling information down to its core principles, this will make it easier to relate to an audience.
- Have a plan: Depending on the content of your message, you’re likely going to need something of a mental road map to make you present all pertinent information. If you need to, keep note cards handy or even a notepad with bullet points. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish in your speech. What do you want the audience to remember? Knowing what you want to say in the order you need to say it will help you stay focused and composed up on the stage.
- Show some personality and passion: The best public speakers have a great speaking ability, but the reason so many of them are so good (and you can be too) is by letting your personality and passion into what you do. How do you do that? You do that by telling some jokes or some personal stories that help illustrate some of the broader points you’re trying to make. If you’ve got a great story you can open with and a great one to close with, you’ll have the audience eating out of your hand.
So if you’re passionate for example about entrepreneurship, let that shine through. Talk to folks interested in business about the benefits of reading entrepreneurship blogs and educated themselves about how they can succeed. It’s estimated that 69% of American entrepreneurs start businesses at home so you might be able to give a speech about succeed in business from the comfort of your couch.
- Make a connection: If you’re trying to become a successful paid speaker, the best thing you can each and every time you speak is to make connections. You don’t have to prove to audiences that you’re smart. You need to prove that you can communicate and make them listen. Relax and show you’re an audience that you’re relatable, approachable and engaging.
Becoming a successful public speaker or doesn’t happen overnight, but with practice and persistence, you can become a fantastic speaker with a message that makes people listen.