Public speaking is an important skill for any entrepreneur to have. However, nearly three in four people suffer from some form of speech anxiety. This can be extremely detrimental for those looking to start their own enterprising companies. It can even hold entrepreneurs back from being able to achieve all of their goals.

Rafferty Pendery, tech entrepreneur and well-known international speaker, is no stranger to the challenges that can come from public speaking. However, if you are looking for some quick and easy steps to help you combat your speech anxiety, here are some simple steps that you can start to use right now — as recommended by Rafferty Pendery.

1. Thoroughly Understand Your Topic

When publicly speaking about a topic, it’s easier to speak more confidently about a topic you are knowledgeable about. This means that you will be less likely to get off track or lose your train of thought. In the event that you do lose your place, it can also be easier to recover as you will have a thorough understanding of the subject at-hand. Speaking about a topic you know a lot about can also make it easier to utilize an outline, as opposed to a full-blown script. By writing down the specific points you want to talk about, you can ensure that you won’t miss anything important but will also have the freedom to tailor the speech to your audience.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

The importance of practice cannot be overstated enough. Not practicing ahead of time is one of the biggest entrepreneur mistakes you could make when it comes to speaking. While there are many tips for how to practice on the Rafferty Pendery website, one of the best ways is reading through your speech in front of a mirror or in front of a camera. Recording yourself can be particularly helpful, as it allows you to analyze yourself and make any necessary corrections. For example, if you find that you’re too stiff or that you’re getting hung up on a specific paragraph, you could tweak your delivery and rerecord your speech until you’re happy with the final result. Additionally, hearing the speech back can help with memorization, allowing you to stay on track and remember all of the points without having to constantly reference your notes.

3. Don’t Stress About the Silence

Many new speakers make the mistake of thinking that they have to constantly talk without pausing. This can make it difficult for your audience to absorb everything you’re saying and it can also make it seem like you’re rushing through your speech. To prevent this, make sure to practice slowing down your delivery and taking a pause between sentences and paragraphs. Now only will this make your speech seem more put together, but it can make it easier for the audience to follow along. Furthermore, you could also listen to speeches given by Rafferty Pendery in order to get a better idea of how you should model your own cadence and pauses.

4. Have a Positive Mental Attitude

The power of positive thinking is another thing that many entrepreneurs overlook. However, it can be a powerful tool in its own right. If you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming speech, instead of focusing on the negative, focus on your success and imagine your presentation going well. Even something as simple as this visualization technique can help put you more at ease and make you feel a little less anxious about speaking.

If you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur who is struggling with speech anxiety, consider these tips before your next presentation. You may also want to check out all of the additional tips and tricks listed on Rafferty Pendery’s website. There you will find numerous articles related to how you can best utilize your strengths to help you achieve all of your entrepreneurial goals.