Public speaking is a challenging feat, but if you plan on owning a business it is a challenge one must overcome.
To some individuals, speaking comes naturally and to others speaking in front of a crowd is one of their biggest fears. I will admit, this use to be one of my biggest fears in life. Having even two eyes looking at me made my skin crawl at the thought of it!
Here are some lessons I have learned about public speaking along the way that everyone should know.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
The first major presentation I gave I was doing a great job until someone opened a door and interrupted my whole presentation. At 16, in front of my classmates, teachers, and professionals, I cried. This comes to my first lesson in public speaking.
A phone will probably go off, someone will get up to go to the bathroom, or maybe the projector stops working. You must be prepared for any scenario! Stay on your toes and you will make it through.
IT'S OKAY TO PAUSE
This last week I got to present an award to a phenomenal young woman, Stephanie, in Times Square for her entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to push through life despite her health challenges.
I did not get the opportunity to run through my whole speech once because of a crazy week of travel, work, and meetings. I was late to rehearsal because of crazy NYC traffic, so I could not get use to the stage/venue. The teleprompter at the venue was not one I was used to. Everything that could go wrong, I felt like went wrong.
When it was my turn to present Stephanie with her award I had some stumbles. I paused, got myself together, and continued.
People do not remember the stumbles. They remember the message and how you deliver that message. I still got applauses in the right places. People still came up to me after saying that I did a great job.
If your message is powerful, that is all that matters.
RECORD YOUR SPEECHES
If you are just getting started to public speak, I suggest recording yourself to see what you do with your body and your voice. I record every speech I do in order to get better. My last speech, I did something weird with my foot and didn't stand up as tall as I would have liked. It also showed that I had great confidence in my voice and was emphasizing in the correct places.
Lastly, if you are just starting out practice, practice, practice. Practice in a mirror, in front of your dog or cat, your friend or significant other, to anyone who will listen! If you do this you will become a great public speaker and maybe it will be just a little bit easier.