Being an SEO expert means that you are in high demand and seen as an authority in your industry. Because of this, many other SEO professionals are going to want to learn your latest trade secrets and will want to invite you to their business conference to speak to their audience.
While this can be a great opportunity for you to share your latest insights on common mistakes people are making, most will shy away from this because they are petrified of getting on stage and having to talk to a live audience. The truth is that while many of the leading experts are great at digital marketing, because they spend so much time behind a computer screen they lack the confidence to give a presentation in public.
According to the public speaking website Keynote Speakers, the fear of speaking in public is one of the most common fears that most people have. To many, the experience of speaking in public brings many unpleasant thoughts. However, one must not shirk away from the opportunity of speaking.
“Being able to speak well considerably adds to one’s self-confidence and allows him to widen his horizons by being able to communicate effectively” says life coach Alex Jones of The Coaching Institute. “Public speaking also gives a person an immense advantage in your marketing career as a lot of common interaction involves being able to articulate one’s thoughts or ideas.”
So, if you are among those individuals who are afraid to speak in public, then here are some helpful tips that would help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
- Before your speech, prepare an outline. Having an outline can help you thresh out your thoughts and lessen your anxiety associated with speaking by diminishing its unpredictable results. It is helpful to have cue cards or an outline ready.
- Rehearse. As they say, practice makes perfect. If you are given an opportunity to prepare way before a speaking engagement, try practicing some of your lines. This would familiarize you with the content of what you’re about to say. Besides, it is easier talking about something we know, right?
- Smile. Smiling gives an instant lift in mood and gives an audience a chance to connect better with you. Don’t open your mouth and talk before you smile. Take that opportunity to instantly create a bond between you and your audience just before you start your speech.
- Look for familiar faces. One common mistake in speaking is blankly looking at a particular space while delivering lines. Try looking at friends or friendly faces in the room you are speaking in. This would reassure you and help boost your confidence. Just don’t overdo it; try to distribute your gaze across the room.
- Be generous with gestures. Staying stiff only increases feelings of anxiety. Let go of your hands and use them to emphasize your important points.
- Have good content. Nothing beats being able to speak with sense. And this means preparing your speech ahead of time. There’s no substitute for preparation. So don’t procrastinate, and start preparing as soon as you get your topic.
Like anything in life that you have never done, it is all about practice and becoming comfortable with something you have never done. Just like you had to learn all of the ins and outs of search engine optimization, you will need to do the same with public speaking. But once you break through your fears, you will quickly see how important having this skill is.