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Public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world. In fact, some statistics show that 75% of people are afraid of speaking in front of others. But it’s also a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. And being comfortable speaking in public is an essential skill for success in many areas of life. Regardless of your profession, experience, or goals, there will always come a time when you need to speak in front of others, whether at something significant like a conference or something small like a group of your peers.
Don’t wait until you have a speaking engagement coming up to prepare. There are benefits to learning how to speak in public comfortably. And you’ll be ready when the next speaking opportunity arises. Let’s get started.
Facts About Public Speaking
Before we start, let’s lay out some facts and statistics about public speaking. As one of the most common fears, it affects many people. Roughly 15 million people, in fact.
- 75% of people suffer from glossophobia, the fear of public speaking
- 40 million people experience anxiety around the idea of speaking in public
- 90% of people report “shyness” in the face of speaking publicly
- More females than males have glossophobia – 5.8% of males versus 12.2% of females.
- Only 10% of the population loves talking in front of people; 10% are terrified, and 80% fall somewhere in the middle.
- Confidence in public speaking increases with age. 69% of those aged 45 and over are more confident versus only 25% of those aged 16 to 24.
Plus, the more you practice and speak in front of others, the easier and more comfortable it will become. Just like everything else, practice makes perfect.
Benefits of Public Speaking
But more than just getting better at public speaking makes it worthwhile. For instance, public speaking can help you get ahead in your career. Public speaking is seen as a sign of leadership and confidence in many workplaces. If you can speak confidently in front of an audience, you’ll be more likely to be seen as a valuable asset to your company.
It’s also great for building relationships. When you speak in public, you’re essentially giving a presentation about yourself. This is a great way to connect with people and build relationships. Consider how valuable a marketing seminar or webinar is. If you could improve your public speaking skills, you could connect and win over even more clients.
And the benefits aren’t limited to your work life. Successful public speaking can help you learn and grow. When you speak in public, you’re forced to think critically about your ideas and how to present them clearly and concisely.
So, where do you start if you aren’t part of that 10% that loves public speaking? How can you improve your upcoming marketing event, webinar, conference, or peer meeting?
Public Speaking Tips
Start small. There’s no reason to jump right into the deep end by doing a televised TED talk. Consider practicing in front of a group of peers, in a promotional webinar, or in a marketing dinner seminar.
Plan ahead. Who is your audience? What are they looking for? How can you alleviate their pain points? Don’t make the mistake of diving right in and sharing what you think they want to hear. Do your due diligence and ensure your audience wants what you are providing.
Don’t read your presentation. One of the most common mistakes for presenters is when they read their presentation to the audience. Make eye contact, create a relationship, and remember that your presentation is for backup information only. It should be very visual, engaging, and minimalistic.
Look the part. Make sure to dress appropriately for your event, and don’t try anything new. Now is not the time to break in new shoes, pull your old jacket out of retirement, or try a new hairstyle.
Understand that mistakes happen. Remember that your audience is on your side when you lose your place, get flustered, or have technical issues. Be open and honest, laugh about the mistakes, and keep going.
Speak clearly and slowly. Ensure your audience can hear and understand what you are saying. Speak slowly enough so that they can follow along. Don’t talk over people’s heads, and don’t use acronyms.
Be yourself! Let your personality come through. Establish a relationship and credibility by giving a presentation that is authentically you. Add anecdotal stories that speak to the topic, including personal stories, client experiences, or humor as supporting points.
End with a summary and a call to action. Conclude your event with a concise summary and remind them of the value of what they’ve learned. Be clear about what you want them to do after your speech, and make it easy for them to follow through. Leave your audience feeling inspired to take the next step so you can close more business.
Public Speaking Success
Congratulate yourself! You just conquered your fear, aced your presentation, and won over your audience. And with public speaking, the more you practice, the easier and more comfortable you’ll become.
Meeting with prospects face to face is the best way to engage and persuade them to convert into clients. With the right presentation and public speaking skills, you can increase your ROI rapidly. To learn more about seminar or webinar marketing for your firm, contact our experts for a free consultation.