Tuesday, August 16
COFFEE CUP CHATS // Public Speaking and the Introvert... A Love Story
I found a video of myself recently from just a few short months into my coaching career. I remember filming it. It took me 3 hours to record a 3 minute video for part of a training I was asked to participate in by my mentor.
My mentor, who is a dynamic, charismatic, beautiful, graceful, and inspiring public speaker had asked me to contribute a short video on a topic I loved. No problem right? I sat on the floor of our guest room recording take after take after take trying to get something that didn't completely suck.
I actually really love public speaking, even though I'm not the best at it (yet!) because I love the energy of getting to share face to face with people. I'm so passionate about what I do as a coach, about helping people change their lives, and I truly believe that people have so much more potential than they think so any chance I get to communicate that, I jump on it!
I recently watched that video and cringed. I've come a long way in my public speaking. And while I've still got a ways to go I thought I'd share a couple tips for any of you who are just starting and who are feeling like you'll never get any better. You will! Even if you're shy like me!
Tip #1: Be Prepared
Knowing your topic, knowing your main talking points, and feeling confident are so key. Because even if you go off script, if you know your stuff you'll still be able to speak with passion and conviction and do an incredible job.
Tip #2: Love What You Are Talking About
When at all possible, choose topics and opportunities to share about something that you are crazy passionate about. I'd rather hear someone who is crazy passionate about something riff than someone who doesn't care give a flawless but cold presentation.
Tip #3: Imagine The Crowd is Just 1 Big Entity
For me, the more people are watching, the easier it is. I get more nervous speaking in from of small groups where I can see every person's individual reactions. That's when I start to get in my own head. If I say something funny and no one smirks then I start to wonder if I suck. But the more people there are, the easier it is for those individual faces to blur into one big sea.
Tip #4: Do It More
The best way to get better at something is to do it more. The reason I'm a much better speaker now than I was 3 years ago is because I've been speaking at least once a week every week. I host a team training call weekly, I speak on trainings for other teams all the time and I speak at live events whenever I get the chance. I want to be better and I know the only way to do that is to practice!
Tip #5: Don't Be Afraid To Be Human
Some of my favorite speakers to watch, and some of the presentations that have had the greatest impact on me have been ones where the speakers weren't textbook perfect. They were human. They fumbled for a word, maybe they got choked up, maybe a technical difficulty derailed them and they had to shake it off. Being able to roll with the punches and not let it trip you up is big! So just go into it knowing that everyone will appreciate seeing you be real and don't worry too much if you stumble for a step or two. You got this!
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