Public Speaking: Tips on Getting Started
Leaders speak. They also write and teach, but public speaking is the primary method of communication for leaders in all walks of life. If you would like to be perceived as a leader, you must provide yourself with ample opportunities to be heard.
Years ago I had a terrible fear of public speaking. Tips from others on how to overcome this fear included going to groups where I could be taught how to speak in front of groups. I was determined not to get over this fear and believed it was not necessary to my success that I become a seasoned speaker. It wasn’t until I began attending live marketing events that I realized the leaders were speakers. So I changed my mind and my thinking (this wouldn’t be the first or last time) and set about the task of learning how to speak in front of groups and become a leader and an authority in my field.
Someone I knew at the time mentioned the Toastmasters group, but after a few visits to my local chapter I determined this was not right for me. Their goal was to turn members into polished speakers who did not say “um” or anything similar while they were speaking. They even graded you on every little detail of your talk. Also, they assigned most of the topics so you seldom had any say over what information you be able to share with the group.
I had other goals. I wanted to be able to speak from the heart on topics related to my life and becoming an entrepreneur. People could relate to my story and my experiences and I wanted them to have that opportunity. Also, selling from the stage was a big part of what I wanted to achieve with my public speaking. So I determined that my goal was not to become a polished speaker, but rather an effective speaker.
Without giving this too much more thought I was suddenly asked to speak in front of small groups. These included two real estate groups I was a part of at the time, as well as my Rotary Club and a book club. It was so tempting to turn them down, but I had set this as my goal and determined to move forward. It was physically painful at first, but over time I became comfortable and even enjoyed speaking in front of groups and having fun with the audiences.
And then, out of the blue it seemed like I was being asked to do the exact thing I had dreamed of, which was to speak at marketing events and sell my products and courses from the stage. Once I published my first book this gave me even more credibility and there was no stopping me as I began to accept speaking engagements all over the world.
These days I continue to speak regularly, at my own live events, workshops, and retreats, as well as for others at a variety of venues. Public speaking in this way has positioned me as a leader and as someone who has the confidence and the credibility to be taken seriously on the topics around entrepreneurship that are crucial to success.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Pick up my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.