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Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

The scariest thing in the world for me growing up was getting in front of the class and speaking. I remember in college I was forced to take a Communications course as a pre-requisite for my Business/Finance major. I did everything I could to avoid the class, but in the end I had to take it. I'll never forget the first presentation that we had to do. I was beyond nervous and stressed out about the damn thing for an entire week! When the moment came to present, I was shaky, forgot my words, and completely bombed it. Then the following day I had become sick because of how much I stressed myself out. This cycle repeated every single time I had to present.

Fast forward a few years when I started my business. I knew that if I was to get myself out there and lead others, I would have to overcome my fear of public speaking. The only way to conquer any type of fear is doing the thing that you fear most, so that's what I did. I volunteered to speak in front of 250 people at an event. Then I did it again, and again, and again, until I got to the point where speaking to others became normal. I quickly learned that it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be! Today, I love speaking to others, whether that be at events, team calls, on Facebook Live, or during guest appearances on webinars.

I overcame the fear of public speaking and you can too. Here are 5 tips on overcoming the fear of public speaking!

(1) Force yourself to do it. I know, I know, it's scary as hell, but the only way for you to get over the fear is to get in front of others and speak! Do that Facebook Live, volunteer to speak at events. Trust me, over time you will realize that it's not that scary at all.

(2) Be prepared. Don't just "wing it." That's not smart. What I like to do when I do any type of public speaking is write down bullet points to keep me on track. No, I don't read what I wrote down while on stage. Rather, I might glance down (if I have a podium) just to make sure I stay on track and don't miss any important points. The absolute WORST thing you can do is read your speech. The worst presentations I've ever seen were from people who literally read their presentation word for word.

(3) Speak on something you're passionate about. This is an important one. When you speak about something you love, it tends to come out and be perceived much differently than speaking about something you don't love. When you speak with energy and passion, your audience will tend to feel the same thing. For example, I love speaking about proper mindset. In my book Just Suck It Up, it's the very first how-to section for a reason. I'm passionate about it! When I'm talking about the subject on stage, I get fired up and in "the zone." The same goes with sharing my story and talking about business success. I stay in my lane and you should too.

(4) Breathe. My best presentations happen when I slow down and breathe. There are many times I will pause for a few seconds, gather my thoughts, and then proceed with the presentation. Now obviously I pause between sections or points, not mid sentence. Doing this can actually create better flow when you present. In addition, take a deep breath and force yourself to try to relax before going on stage. If you have to do a meditation exercise, go for it.

(5) Smile. As simple as it sounds, you'd be surprised with just how many people look pissed off on stage! When you smile, it comes across much differently to your audience.

There you go. There's 5 tips on overcoming the fear of public speaking! If you found this helpful, make sure you share on social media!

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