So many people come out with the phrase ‘I hate speaking in public‘ or ‘I could never speak in public’, which then limits the way anyone can market their business.
I don’t know if we live in an age where speaking to a group of people is not taught in schools anymore or we live in an age where people worry about what people think about them more.
When I coach people who hate speaking in public, it is often the same reasons given which include,
- I will forget what I am going to say
- People are not interested in what I have to say
- I don’t know what to say
- Everyone will be looking at me
Let’s look at these thoughts and really think about what you are saying.
‘I will forget what I am going to say’. Interesting, because we have to assume that you will be speaking about your business, about what you do for people and how you can help people. If you know your stuff inside out, then you can’t forget what you are going to say. Having the confidence to know that you know what you are talking about is the first step to getting over those fears of speaking to a group of people.
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‘People are not interested in what I have to say’. Again, we have to assume that you know who you are going to speak to. If you are vegetarian and run a business selling vegetarian recipes, talking to a room full of Butchers is going to be tough. Unless your whole intention is to change their mindset, then why would you talk to them. Understanding your audience, who they are and why they are there is the second way to get over the fear of Public Speaking.
‘I don’t know what to say’. When I work with people I use the simple formula of, give one message at a time. You can’t tell people everything, you need to break it down. Know what your message is and what it is you want to tell people and what you want them to do. By simplifying your message, you make it easier for you to keep it in your head and we are back to excuse no. 1, you won’t be afraid of forgetting because you have a simple message to give.
‘Everyone will be looking at me’, we certainly hope so. We want people to be listening to you because they need what you have to offer.
If you were a doctor with a life-saving drug, it wouldn’t matter what you looked like, what you said or how you say it, just so long as you give that life-saving drug to people who need it. Public Speaking may not be about saving lives, but it is about giving people what they need. They want to know what it is you can do for them and they want to know how.
I know it sounds easy and it is a lot more difficult than that. However, by understanding some of the basic rules of Public Speaking, you can alleviate some of the fear and become a confident speaker. You can even begin to enjoy standing up and telling people about you and your business.
A change of mindset is how you become a confident speaker. By realising that it is not about you, it is about the audience takes you from being in the scary spotlight to being the person who people need to listen to. You potential client is in that audience and they want to hear from you and they want to work with you. You just need to tell them what you do, why you do it, and what you want them to do next.
Go on, try it out and see how it makes a difference to your public speaking in the future.