Most people on the planet would prefer to do almost anything other than stand up and speak in front of a group.
I was once one of those people, but not any more. My journey to being comfortable speaking to a group was not long and arduous as some people might have you believe.
Here my my top tips to getting your message across even if you are the shyest lady on the planet.
1. Be Yourself. I was told this many times before I finally ‘got’ what this actually meant.
Being yourself is about accepting who you are and not pretending to be someone else.Aileen Lane, Business Coach to image consultants
I was teased mercilessly and sometimes still am for having a very Irish ‘culchy’ accent. This has caused me great distress over the years and made me feel very self-conscious. I used to be terrified to talk in front of people knowing that I would be ridiculed for my accent.
I had to consciously accept that this was my accent and this was how it was going to be if I wanted to speak. So I did and the rest is history.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I still cringe when I hear my Irish monotone but sometimes I even laugh now and sure its grand as we say in Ireland:)
2. Dress like yourself. How we dress tells the world something about us; our beliefs, our values, how we like things to be.
Dressing like yourself gets much of your message across before you even open your mouth.
For example, think how Michelle O’ Bama dresses – bright, vivacious, stylish and always with her own unique stamp. She routinely wears a belt or a brooch showing her signature style regardless of current trends. We can see that Michelle has a mind of her own before she utters a word.
3. Feel the fear and do it anyway. There is no shortcut in my opinion and endless hours of listening to strategies on ‘How to be a fabulous public speaker’ was also not the answer in my case.
Start small with a topic you know well, speaking as you normally speak and let the rest flow.
These ideas are what worked for me and now its hard to get me off the stage! Keep on keeping on and you too will woe the crowds with your unique message.