Public speaking don’t you mean public FREAKING?!

I had the pleasure of attending one of the most long running and reputable business networking groups as The Little General’s visitor yesterday. It truly was an engaging community of business owners who are as interested in other people’s businesses as much as they are their own.

There were some characters in the group who had developed their own sort of catch phrase they called out intermittently/sproadically. There were others who were still finding their way with public speaking, a skill that is definitely developed from being part of a group such as this. Indeed, I was the first visitor called upon to introduce myself to the room which consisted of two longgggg tables – around 60 odd people.

My tips to anyone who shies away from public speaking, whether to strangers, colleagues or classmates:

  1. Speak up – instill confidence in yourself, if you are required to say your name, you KNOW it, you would have said it millions of times in your life. You can fake the confidence until you make it, and with something as familiar to you as your name, increase that volume and announce yourself to the world at large (whatever room or group of people that may be).
  2. Project your voice upward and outward with open body language – even though in your mind you might want nothing more than to get it over and done with and you’re in the fetal position, no one else need know that! Inhale to fill your lungs and open your chest, don’t cross your arms, and angle yourself toward different areas of the room as you speak to spread the projection across your audience.
  3. Be proud of yourself – you did it! Each time makes the next time easier.

I hope next time you have to speak, you can have some fun with it – remember to relax, everyone has short attention spans these days and a percentage of the audience will likely be on their phones and not paying full attention. Take advantage of any opportunity to finesse your vocals!

Jessica Rachael Mowle