Everyone I meet agrees that conquering the fear of public speaking would significantly improve their career, confidence, and income, but they often struggle to see the real-world examples of how their life would be improved. I agree so let’s give a real-world example:
Last Saturday I attended a great conference called Freelance Camp 2012, which is put on by The Network Hub. This is an “unconference” because participants choose who presents and what sessions they attend, it’s a great format and experience. I wanted to attend badly, but the tickets were sold out, so I woke up and began emailing the organizers first thing in the morning as it started at 9am. I received a response at 8:37am and quickly raced to the venue. Arriving at 9:30am, I heard that you could nominate yourself to lead a presentation and thought it was a great way to gain exposure and promote my workshop to almost 200 people. Fortunately I’m comfortable public speaking and was able to pitch to the audience. They voted my public speaking presentation in and at 10am, I started delivering value.
The presentation went well, received excellent feedback from participants, and mentions on Twitter. So why is becoming comfortable with public speaking critical for you?
1. Seize every opportunity to public speak:
Chances to set yourself apart from the crowd happen very quickly, hesitation and doubt will sabotage your opportunity to shine. When you’re confident with public speaking, you will be able to present on short notice and make a valuable connection with your audience.
2. Stand out from the crowd:
The conference had almost 200 participants and only a handful presented. By presenting, I ensured that every participant knew who I was, even if they didn’t attend my presentation. If I allowed the fear of presenting to stop me, how many people would have met me…maybe 10.
3. Public speaking makes you a Leader:
Most people that attended sat in their seats, thinking how great it would be if they were comfortable to pitch their service to the audience. They didn’t, then likely started a series of negative statements towards themselves wondering why they didn’t have the courage to speak because their business badly needed it.
You don’t have to be a great presenter, what matters is that you take a step towards being able to speak at any function. You can always refine your presentation skills, but that can only happen after you take the first step. Take the first step today and seize an opportunity to tell someone how you can assist them.