What are you afraid of? What gives you clammy hands and butterflies in the stomach? Is it speaking in public? Confronting someone about an issue? Talking to your boss? Negotiating a pay raise?
Public communication is one of the most feared issues for people, whether you’re giving a wedding speech, raising your hand in a meeting or in a classroom, or even speaking to a small group of people, public speaking is scary, actually, TERRIFYING (for most people). However, without excellent public speaking and communication skills you’ll never fully achieve greatness.
So, how do you get better at public speaking? Practice, practice, practice.
You will NEVER get better at anything without sustained, deliberate practice.
Also, you must be willing to solicit constructive feedback and be open to suggestions for improvement. We can all benefit from some extra advice or guidance, so don’t think you know it all, because you don’t!
- Avoid tentative language when you speak. Words such as “maybe” “perhaps’ “sort of” “I’m not sure” “I think so” “I tried” –This type of language will make you sound incompetent (i.e. not leadership material!).
- Develop a leadership vocabulary. Rely on powerful action words to describe you, so you`re seen as a leader, not a worker. (“I improved, implemented, delivered, coached, earned, executed, recruited, managed, persuaded”….etc.).
- Stop discussing your flaws! (future post). Seriously, no one needs to know you failed a course, changed jobs 3 times in the past year or still live with your parents.
Fear is about the unknown, the uncertain. Fear will force you to search for ALL the answers when all you really need is one. Fear is rooted in wanting to know how everything works out in the end. But, the truth is you’ll never know it all or have it all figured out. You’ll never have enough information, or make all the correct decisions, so start getting comfortable with uncertainty. Take a risk. Practice your fears. Finally take some action.
For instance, I’ve been posting YouTube videos and this scares me SO much. My 1st few videos weren’t great, I was nervous, I couldn’t figure out the lighting and my eye contact was all wonky. But, I didn’t give up. I’ve now posted 32 videos on my YouTube Channel (ALL IN with Prof. Maja) and I just keep learning and improving and practicing.
I’m doing it. You can do it.