Public Speaking for Fearful Entrepreneurs

Do you "feel the fear" when asked to do some public speaking? Everybody does. Even entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are usually a talkative, outgoing group of people but they still get fear.

They fear being judged.

They fear not being the best.

They fear they might not live up to the standards.

They fear being laughed at.

It's okay... if you have fear doing public speaking, brace yourself for some fear breaking steps...

Steps to get you over your fear and speak comfortably as if you're talking to your best friend.

Step 1: Prepare

As you sit down to write what you're going to say, bear in mind who you'll be speaking to. Will they understand what you are talking about? Will they understand the technical stuff and all the jargon? If not, keep it simple and light.

Step 2: Know Your Stage

Have a look at the stage/venue before the event if you can. Doing this helps visualize the speech. You can imagine where the audience will be and check that they can see and hear you.

Step 3: Try Some Exercises

Part of your homework should include some mouth and breathing exercises. Practice saying some tongue twisters to give your speaking muscles a good work out. Take a deep breath and expand your diaphragm. Then breathe out, counting at the same time.

Step 4: Poise and Posture

Whenever you're called to speak, stand up or walk to the front with confidence. Studying body language and how it can bring effective communication will help you become a better speaker.

Step 5: Be Real

If you have something on your mind, say it. The audience has an experience of feeling connected to the speaker, when the speaker is able to say what's on his or her mind. This shouldn't be too hard since you are an entrepreneur. For example, if you had a bad day, don't hold it in, tell your audience, "You know what, I'm sorry, I had a bad day today..." and explain what happened. Once you are able to let that out, you can be whole and complete with your audience. It allows for better rapport, and makes you real.

Step 6: Be Passionate

I remember my 10th grade teach bored everybody to death with his monotone voice. This is a formula for disaster when speaking. Make sure to inject some passion in your voice. This is what the audience yearns for. They’re probably there to learn but they also like to be entertained. Give it to them.

Step 7: Questions

Determine when you are going to take them and tell people at the start. In a quick speech it's best to take questions at the end. During long speeches, take "audience breaks." Get the audience involved in your speech by engaging with them, keeping them on your toes.

Step 8: End on a High Note

The best speaker keeps the audience wanting more. Entrepreneurs should have this trait in their businesses as well. Being able to end on a high note leaves the audience feeling like they got something taken away from them and the only way to get it back is to listen to one of your speeches again. How do you know if you're nearing on a high note? When the audience is fully engaged through body movement and noise. Once this happens, cut the speech short, and tell them that if they want to learn more, they can ______ (whatever action you want them to take, i.e. go to your website, buy your product, etc.).

Public speaking is still one of our greatest fears and it turns grown men and women into nervous wrecks. However following these steps makes those nervous wrecks into supermen and wonder women.