It may be hard to believe but there are people out there who just live for that moment when they can get up in front of an audience (big or small) and truly express themselves. In my experience, those people are a rare and exclusive group.
For the rest of us, it takes time, effort and plenty of practice to get comfortable in front of an audience — whether that’s just a few people in a meeting or hundreds of people at a conference.
With that, here are some great hints and tips on how to up your speaking game.
If you happen to have some free time this weekend, this is one way to spend it — watching TED talks and getting inspired by the creativity and positivity that comes from these presentations. There are also some great tips here about how to prepare your materials and deliver with impact.
When I first started my business I spent time and money learning how to present and speak in front of a crowd of strangers, not because I was suddenly giving more speeches, but because I needed to develop that confidence. This is a great article from Upwork that digs a little deeper into what speaking skills can do for your business development.
As this article from Fast Company illustrates, it can even be overwhelming to speak up in a meeting. Public speaking isn’t just about standing in front of an audience. It’s also about speaking truth to power. Holding back is natural in an uncertain environment, but stepping into that uncomfortable space can be richly rewarding.
Here are three simple ways to get better at public speaking: do your research, practice often, and join a speaking group. This article from Forbes also provides great resources for doing additional research from public speaking experts.
This is a great resource from the New York Times that takes you through the process of creating your material, practicing your presentation, and preparing yourself mentally for what to expect.
Speaking with confidence in front of others can be difficult and intimidating for some people. Remember, you are stronger than you think, and for every one of you who stood up in front of an audience and found that the world did not stop, I say congratulations!
Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Addicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.