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I Can’t Speak In Front of Audiences

(Podcast is available at the bottom of this article!)

Speaking in front of audiences is a fear many people have.  That’s unfortunate because many people have to speak in front of people for work if that’s their job, and, if you’re an entrepreneur, speaking in front of large groups is a great way to get more exposure for your business, and you’re missing out by believing that you can’t do it.

I think some of the biggest fears that are easy to hold on to are:

“I’m gonna suck, and people won’t think I did a good job.”

“People will laugh at me.”

“I might get tongue-tied and not be able to speak because I will freeze up from fear.”

And so forth.  Well, in my book, there are really only 3 possible outcomes of any person daring to speak on stage, and here they are:

  1. You will suck.  No, really, you will totally bomb, fail miserably, and people will walk out of the room early because you’re so bad.  If you do this, guess what?  You just gave everyone in that room a great story!  Instead of complaining about whatever crap in their life that’s been dragging them down, they can now focus on you and realize that their life is now much better because, at least they did not make an ass of themselves in front of lots of people!  And, so, you allowed everyone in the room to be happier in their own lives – pretty great if you ask me!  They will go home and tell a good story when they get there.  Oh, and you get to learn from your mistakes, which you simply cannot be more lucky to do – you took the risk to fail, and now, it’s going to allow you to succeed – never forget that!
  2. You will make people laugh….possibly AT you, not with you.  Good job!  So what if people laugh at you because you dress funny, you’re weird, your presentation was funny…that means you got people laughing.  In my book, that’s a great thing.  Laughter means everyone in the room is happy, and you did that!  Laughter, if you haven’t read about it, is also great medecine – by making everyone in the room laugh, you just made them healthier!  Well done!
  3. You will inspire people.  Even if, for the very fact that you ventured onto the stage, scared as shit, not sure you could do it, and taking the risk to fail, you could, potentially, inspire other people.  How great is that?  You have no idea how your very presence in front of a room full of people could leave a lasting, positive impression.

Today’s call to action is – get out there and get speaking!  Start by taking a class, maybe with Toastmasters, or a workshop on speaking, to learn some good speaking strategies.  Next, put together a brief presentation and practice it – use friends, the mirror, or a video camera!  Try it out, practice it, and eventually you will get more comfortable with the material.  Finally, go do it!  If you have the luxury to choose, start with a small audience.  Learn your strengths, learn your weaknesses, and most of all, learn from mistakes.



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