Public speaking isn’t for everybody. In fact, not many people thrive on the stage. But as an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to excel in public speaking as your ability to pitch your startup will more or less determine its success.
So, if you struggle with public speaking, but really want to overcome the fear that holds you back, you must start small. To begin with, keep these five things in mind:
Embrace the right mindset
Approach your public-speaking-mastery as a journey and embrace the right mindset for it. Don’t expect to overcome your fear just in a day; understand that it is a process and it will take time. Give yourself the ability to fail and do your best not to get discouraged quickly.
To understand better your weakest sides as a presenter, you need to observe the way you present. Practice in front of a mirror or, even better – record yourself. Observe every little detail – from your body posture through the tone of voice and the pauses you make between sentences to the facial expressions.
Observe also the way other people present. Watch startup competitions and observe how other entrepreneurs pitch their companies – what they say, how they say it, what they are wearing, how they move around the stage, how they handle questions and so on. This will give you a different perspective on public speaking and many good ideas how you can improve your own performance.
Ask for feedback
Ask your co-founders, your team members or your mentor to share their opinion about your pitching abilities. Ask them to be completely honest. They will be happy to give you constructive feedback. Listen to what they have to say and take their advice as a stepping stone towards improvement.
Get out of your comfort zone
Practice. Practice. Practice. Don’t wait until you perfect the art of public speaking to sign up for pitching events. You get better with experience. Get out of your comfort zone and start doing. Get active and begin to pitch your startup. Start small with attending smaller events and step by step walk your way to the big competitions.
Being able to effectively present your business is just a part of being an entrepreneur. To become better at it, you need to remember your higher goal – keep in mind why did you start the business, what keeps you excited about the process of building a company and what value you bring to the world. When you are inspired by the work you do, it becomes easier to make this excitement contagious, so the audience will feel it with your presentation.
What do you do to overcome your fear of public speaking?