by Carol Graham
Public Speaking. Speaking in Public. Speaking to a large group of people. Speaking to a room full of your peers. Does any of this scare you? If so, you are not alone. There is an old adage that says some people fear public speaking more than death.
Speaking in public is my passion. Motivating and inspiring people to do more; be more, laugh more, love more and live better brings great rewards. Many people have much to share but are afraid to do it in a public forum. Two things I have learned come from experience — not a textbook or a public speaking course. Master these two and your fears will be short lived.
One of the most important things you must learn is what you do in the first six seconds. If you walk up to the microphone and start to speak before you get there, it shows your nervousness. First impressions are huge and you want to give a good one. The first six seconds – don’t say a word. Pick up your microphone, look at your audience and smile. In these first six seconds, your audience is analyzing you. They don’t hear what you say until they have had a good look at you.
The Second and Biggest Secret to Success is…
Of course, it is necessary to present yourself well in your appearance but, and this is a very big BUT, it is not what you wear or even necessarily what you say that is the most important. You can enunciate perfectly. You can be the greatest orator. You can articulate clearly. You can be dressed like a million bucks. However, if what you share comes from a cold place, your audience will perceive it and inevitably tune you out – almost immediately. As you become conscious of this, it makes you even more nervous.
Say this out loud and then think about it….
People don’t care how much you know – until they know how much you care. That warrants repeating. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It does not matter what you are speaking about, do it with passion. You cannot find passion in a book. You cannot find passion in any store. No website sells passion. Your passion comes from within and people will recognize it very quickly.
I have been in sales most of my life but I have never sold anything I am not passionate about. You need to be passionate about what you are speaking about and people will listen. When you are speaking in public, you are selling yourself first, your product second.
Speaking to a group is like giving a gift to someone. When you do it from a place of love and compassion, you are not doing it because you have to, you are doing it because you want to. This is key to being a success.
How can being warm and fuzzy help you when you speak in public? It does not matter what you are talking about. It does not matter what you are selling. If you believe in what you are doing, if you are passionate about your subject, your audience will notice and reciprocate – making you very comfortable and relaxed.
When you are preparing your speech, think about what it really means to you. Why is it important to you? How can your product or service benefit others? Think of what your audience needs and how you can give it to them. They will recognize your motive and you will be successful.
Carol Graham is the author of a fast-paced award-winning memoir, Battered Hope, the blog Never Ever Give Up Hope, a regular contributor to several blog sites and has been published in three anthologies including a best-seller. In 2015, Carol received the Woman of Impact Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Author of the Year for her memoir, Battered Hope.
Carol hosts a bi-weekly talk show “Never Ever Give Up Hope” in which she interviews people with remarkable stories of how they overcame overwhelming obstacles and achieved success. “Never Ever Give Up Hope” has an international audience in over 50 countries.
In addition to motivational speaking, hosting a talk show and writing, Carol is a business owner, a wife, mother, grandmother and together with her husband have rescued over 30 dogs.
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