As I’m gearing up to keynote my first event in NYC, I thought back to how far I’ve come with my public speaking in just one year.
When I was a kid, I had no problem in getting in front of an audience. Giving presentations was a breeze and I won speech contests competing against my classmates with creative titles like “The speech on how to give a speech”
But somewhere between the insecurity that grows on us during our teenage years, those voices in my head that would tell me I’m not enough, combined with years of emotional abuse from my mom’s ex-boyfriend who I lived with between 10-16 years old, I was depleted of confidence and self-worth. This showed every time I wanted to get in front of an audience when I had something to say.
I would feel as if I was going to throw up if I had to speak to a group of people. I always have to pee when I get nervous so I would be trying to stop myself from drinking water previous to a public speaking engagement just to minimize having to get up and down.
But a year ago when I launched my business to support, give guidance and actionable tools for female entrepreneurs to grow their business and create a life they’re meant for, I realized that if I want to share my message, this was going to have to change.
I changed my perspective on fear and failure, my focus when I’m giving a speech, and learned to manage my emotions and now I get excited for sharing my story with a crowd; and you can too.
How To Get Comfortable Public Speaking
Before I give a speech, if I am only focused on myself, then I am bound to fail.
If I just think “What if I mess up?” “What if I forget to say that important thing?” I’m become a nervous mess and I’m definitely going to freeze up.
Before I get up to give a speech, I look around the room at the people around me. We’re all just people, after all. And I think to myself “What if someone is going through what I went through?” Someone may very well need to learn what I have to say.
Don’t get too caught up in trying to use the fanciest words to sound more intelligent. Speak like you would speak to a good friend. Share your message from the heart. It will come across more natural and you will seem a LOT more genuine.
Focus on giving the best explanation of what you have to say, and you’ll leave an impression on your audience.
Remember this is a practice for you and your personal growth
If you went to the gym and only lifted 5 pound weights for the rest of your life, you’re not going to get any stronger. You’re stopping yourself from growing by avoiding any kind of pain.
Yes, the fear of public speaking can definitely be painful. I get it, I’m an INFJ-T. But if you don’t stretch yourself, you can guarantee that you’re ALWAYS going to be in the exact same place as you are now.
Is that where you want to stay, or do you want to grow?
Ease into it.
Yes, going from 0 to speaking in front of 50 people is daunting. But ease yourself into it and it will get easier.
Start off small by just practicing your speech and what you have to say alone in your room. Then try in front of a friend or two.
When you get comfortable with that, try easing into doing a live stream using an app like periscope and get comfortable saying what’s on your mind to a virtual room of people. Then volunteer to do small speaking gigs or lead meetings at work.
You may want to join public speaking practice groups like toastmasters where you’ll get more opportunities to speak.
Stop trying to aim for perfection
Perfection is this unattainable goal, that we think we’ll reach. But it’s really in the eye of the beholder, and can make us feel like we’re never good enough.
Instead of striving for utter perfection, strive for connection. Strive to be your honest self and help the audience as best as you can and you’ll realize that it has more of an impact than the ‘perfect’ speech.
I’m going to be in NYC on November 15th for my Create Your Yes event, and if you’re looking to get over your fears, and create the life and business you’re meant for, I’d love to meet you there. Tickets are going fast, but you can still pick them up at yessupply.co/event