For Entrepreneurs: Public Speaking 101
Written by Richard San Juan for Gaebler Ventures
If you want to be an entrepreneur, overcoming any fear of public speaking will be a priority since you will have to be selling your product/service and yourself to people in order for them to purchase, invest, or support your business.
If you type in "biggest fear" on Google, the first search result covers the fear of public speaking.
This is no surprise. The majority of the people fear standing in front of a crowd and talking than anything else.
As an entrepreneur, public speaking will be a big part of your life.
Some of you are probably thinking right now that maybe being an entrepreneur is not a good idea after all.
The idea of speaking in public brings up memories of sweaty palms, voice cracking in mid-sentence, or forgetting what you were going to say during past attempts in giving presentations.
I know how it feels, because I went through the same experiences before.
Being nervous is normal, it's a natural instinct. Getting up and having to talk to many people who judge what you will say is not an easy task for people who are not comfortable in public speaking.
Public speakers who are not comfortable in the role are constantly worried about what if they say the wrong things and why is that one person in the back laughing?
Nervous speakers seem to worry themselves, because they magnify all the little reactions or responses by the audience. The path to break away from this fear is to develop confidence in yourself and in your message.
How to Build Confidence in Public Speaking
The one obvious way to build confidence, at least in your message, is to do heavy preparation before your speaking engagement.
You should know exactly what message you are going to convey to your target audience. It is also important to know who your audience will be and how you will tailor your presentation accordingly. Moreover, there should be a clear, logical organization in the presentation to keep your audience from getting lost in your message.
Next, think about some of the visuals you will be using. Will you use a media clip? Will you just use images? What kind of data will you show? These are important questions that must be addressed during this preparation stage.
After creating the presentation, all hat is left to do is practice, practice, and more practice.
Practice your presentation as much as you can and do it while in front of someone or a video recorder. By doing it in this fashion, you can get feedback. The feedback you receive will help you determine whether or not changes need to be made in your speech or presentation.
Lastly, just relax. Take your time during your presentation and resist the temptation to speed through a segment, because then your audience will not be able to understand your message.
If you are still not comfortable doing public speaking, make sure you don't put in too much complicated media visuals in your presentation. This could enhance the possibility of a technical mishap that would undoubtedly put stress on your shoulders.
Just remember, probably the majority of the people in your audience have been in your shoes and they too themselves do not like to give a long presentation.
As long as you are well-prepared and confident in your message, the presentation and the accompanying speech should be fine.
Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.
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