Reid Walley is a Life Coach for business owners. He also coaches them in public speaking, something he was originally afraid to do. “It scared me to death,” Walley said. “I was comfortable talking one-on-one, but the thought of talking to a group of strangers scared me.”
So he joined Toastmasters. He became so good a public speaking that he recently won 1st Place, 2013 District 39 “International Speech” contest.
I turns out that all my clients or business owners struggle with public speaking,” Walley said. “As business owners, they may have to speak to groups, employees, customers and investors.”
Even employees often have the need to do public speaking at various times.
With that in mind, here are some of Walley’s tips to overcome the fear of public speaking and for giving better talks.
Overcome the fear.
According to Walley, a great technique is to simply breathe, smile and have good posture. “You have to physically break the fear by doing something physical that makes you feel stronger,” Walley said.
Sitting up straight in his chair before giving a speech, when he feels the butterflies coming on, is another key fear releasing strategy that Walley uses. “If I sit up straight in the chair, the butterflies are behind me,” Walley said.
Another way to overcome fear is to stop thinking of the speech in terms of a presentation and think more in terms of sharing.
But back to that breathing thing. How do you remember to do that during a speech? Simple: pause. “A lot of people think that speakers pause to let what they have said sink in. But an additional pause allows you to breathe and keep going,” Walley said.
If possible, talk about something familiar to you. “It will be a lot easier,” Walley said.
Walley said that he first chooses a topic and then picks three highlights or bullet points and what order they will go in, so the speech will flow well. “Just write what the large points are, but not word-for-word,” he advises.
Once Walley knows what the body of his speech will be about, he writes his opening and closing. “Your very first line has to capture their attention,” Walley said. He suggests a shocking statement, something they wouldn’t know, or something shocking about yourself, as long as it ties in with the three highlights.
Then practice your opening and closing until you have them down pat. You don’t need to know the middle part of your speech verbatim.
If all this seems like a lot of work, it is. But it can be fun and ultimately lead to more and more success. “Public speaking gives you clarity and confidence. And with clarity and confidence, you can move mountains,” Walley said.
To learn more, visit his site or call 916-416-6404.