Around 2008, my stepmom’s father had died and I impulsively decided that I would get up at the funeral say a few words about him in from of close family and friends.
I walked up to the podium and I proceeded to stumble over this 1st grade reading level vocabulary speech that was prepared on the spot. And it was horrible! I don’t remember what I said exactly, but I do remember two things:
- I said some great things about him because he was a great man.
- My palms were sweating like crazy, which means that I was nervous to publicly speak in front of my family. Don’t you think it’s pretty silly to be nervous in front of close family and friends that you talk to everyday.
The one good thing that came out of that experience, seeing a great man a great man go out in style with dignity, was I learned that even though I was nervous and scared, I had the ability to dig deep down and pull out the courage to do something in spite of that.
It’s Ok to Be Afraid of Public Speaking but Not Ok to Avoid Doing It
In other words, being afraid to do something has nothing to do with whether you actually do it or not.
Fast forward to ten years later, I have relentlessly pushed to get good at public speaking. I sucked at it for so long and I can honestly say that I didn’t get good at it until the last 2 years, because I refused to give up. I just kept doing bad talks until I figured it out. Once I figured out how to get good at it, I got good at public speaking really fast. And even still I’m not the greatest. But I was just relentless in figuring out how to actually getting to acceptable level.
Today, I’m so thankful that I put that work in because our business benefits from it greatly. Here are a list of reasons why its important for you to get good at public speaking especially if you’re an entrepreneur.
Why Your Public Speaking Skills Are Important for You to Develop as an Entrepreneur
1) Public speaking establishes you as an authority and gives you creditability on your subject matter.
If you’re seen as a an authority, then people are more likely to use your services or buy your products. Authority equals more sales…ca-ching!
2) Public speaking on a subject gives you confidence in your capabilities in that particular area.
Typically when you prepare for a talk, you tend to research more than normal so as to appear (real or perceived) as knowledgeable as possible. People also dig deep in research to be sure that they give people a good return on their time when listening to them speak.
3) Public speaking gives you confidence in life, in general.
Studies suggest that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. When you can overcome the fear of public speaking, there is probably no other fear that can thwart your business endeavors.
4) Public speaking forces you to create organized content on your subject matter, thus allowing you to actually improve your craft.
Being forced to organize your thoughts allows you to actually get better at your craft. You can apply the organized thoughts and frameworks you create for your talk to your actual day-to-day business activities. Furthermore, a lot of times you end up learning more in the preparation of the talk than you actually knew before you were asked to give the talk.
Now that we know why you should focus on developing yourself as a great public speaker, here
are some tips to actually get good at public speaking really quickly.
4 Ways To to Get Good at Public Speaking Really Quickly
1) Speak Publicly as Much as Possible
Take any opportunity to speak publicly. Take the big jobs such as keynotes at your favorite industry conference as well as the opportunity to speak at your nephews kindergarten class career day. The more you do it, there more you get comfortable with it. I didn’t start getting good at public speaking until I became consistent with my weekly podcast.
Now, I speak publicly at least 3 times a week, between our podcast, our BTS Go tips on YouTube, or at our weekly BTS Real Estate League Mastermind events at our office here in Philly. And that’s not considering the one-off events that we do at the office or when I go out in the field to speak at other peoples events. I can now speak comfortably and confidently. Most of the time, when we record our BTS Go tips for YouTube, I can actually do them in 1 take.
2) Study Other Speaker Styles as Much as Possible
Watch other presenters on youTube, and go to events. Study and pick apart their presentations. Look at every detail in their speaking style and content. Use some stuff for inspiration and look for other things that you definitely want to avoid. There is no reason to learn everything by trial and error.
3) Always Have a Previously Prepared Presentation on Deck Locked and Loaded
Develop and create a “go-to” presentation so that you are always prepared when someone asks you to give a talk. This presentation you should know like the back of your hand and should possibly have some parts completely memorized. Please note: there is a difference between knowing your material and and having it memorized.
Knowing your material is kind of like knowing that 2 plus 2 equals 4. You know this and can explain it freestyle if you have to. But having the song “Marry Had a Little Lamb” memorized is a whole different story.
It Is Ok To Give the Same Talk More Than Once
And before you ask, yes it is ok to give the same talk more than once. Most likely, the same people won’t be in the room. Or if you are good enough, the people who heard your “go-to” talk before might actually be looking forward to hearing it again.
4) Make Use of an Alter Ego When Public Speaking
If you are still nervous about public speaking, then you should try developing an alter ego. The alter ego allows you to “remove” yourself and have an out of body experience so that you aren’t giving the presentation yourself. Kind of…lol. It allows you to literally be whoever you want to be. Trust me, it works. Remember even Beyonce has her alter ego, Sasha Fierce.
When I was a timid public speaker I created an alter ego named “Tracy”. She is/was a fearless badass. She also got me through a lot of tough times and tough crowds.
In conclusion, great public speakers are not always born, but they can be developed. Public speaking can be learned quickly through practice, discipline and study.