Even though public speaking is always listed as one of the top fears people have, most people have a secret—or not so secret—desire to be an accomplished public speaker. They wish they weren’t scared, they try to figure out a way to overcome the anxiety and they continue to avoid any speaking situation while kicking themselves for not being able to “perform.”
Why do you think they want to be able to get up in front of a group, whether it is a small or large one, and share information without fainting or running for the hills? Do you think they at least subconsciously know the unique power of communicating in a comfortable, concise and compelling manner? Do you know the power that affords you?
Let’s look at just three of the positive results that come from good, let alone great, public speaking.
The most valuable result is #credibility. You are given extra points for being able to do what most of your audience members are too afraid to do. There you are, comfortably and confidently sharing information that is clear and interesting. Wow. The audience is thinking, “She is good—I wish I could speak like her” and that somehow gets translated into, “She must be a brilliant financial advisor (or real estate agent, or consultant, or attorney or campaign manager, etc.),” even though you aren’t talking about your business.
During my twelve years as a financial planner, I used public speaking as often as possible to market my business. There weren’t always a lot of opportunities to present on financial planning but there were unlimited opportunities to get up in front of a group. So, yes, when given the chance to conduct a workshop or give a keynote on financial independence, I did that. More often, I would offer to chair a committee knowing that by leading, speaking opportunities would appear. I’ve offered myself up to emcee meetings or to introduce the keynote speaker. And I've even volunteered to be on the speaking circuit for various non profits I supported—most executive directors are more than willing to let you take on the role of spokesperson since they, too, are among those who list public speaking as their #1 fear!
If you want to soar past your competitors, take any and every chance you get to show that you are a comfortable, confident and compelling speaker no matter what the situation may be. You’ll gain instant credibility that would otherwise take years to develop.
In my next post, we'll discuss the second positive result generated by conquering your #fear and being memorable in all your communications.