Too many people avoid giving presentations because the idea scares them witless.
Others avoid speaking up in class – school college or university – for fear of looking foolish.
Many bridegrooms, best men, fathers of the bride – spend sleepless nights ahead of the “Big Day” speech.
The best employees are often overlooked because they stayed quiet in meetings leaving the way open for their – ahem – less talented but more vocal colleagues to go places.
It does not have to be this way!
But no matter how much you read about speaking in public there is no better way to overcome your fear than – to do it!
The bottom line is that to become good at something – anything – you have to practice.
Start small and build up – little and often.
And crucially recognise that everybody – no matter how experienced – gets nervous about speaking in public. Number 1 tip here – recognise it, acknowledge what being nervous feels like – and work with your nerves.
Let me just share this with you..
I lead speaking skills workshops – the youngest participant ever was 10 the oldest so far 78. They go through exactly the same content. In a 3 hour session all participants will speak in front of their peers 3 times – in a whole day at least 4. Many of those participants have not come to the workshop willingly! They are asked to score how they feel about speaking at the beginning of the day on a scale of 1-10 ( 1 being lowest) and many score below 5. By the end of a day of practice the confidence level has risen for most if not all – maybe not a huge amount for some but better than they were. I urge them to take that as the first step…and to keep practicing.
So if a 10 year old can do it…what’s stopping you?