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  • Janine Coney

5 Tips for ambitious women to overcome your nerves and get confident in public speaking today!

Not going to lie,I was nervous!

How do you feel when you step out on stage to talk or present to a public audience ? Not going to lie it can be nerve wracking can’t it ?

But it’s actually one of the many ways you can build and communicate your brand and business, get involved in a community and engage with a wider audience plus it’s really great PR!

Surveys continuously show that public speaking ranks as one of the most scariest things to do ever! And here’s why - people worry about what to say, worry about forgetting their words, freezing on stage, looking silly or not resonating with the audience too!

In my years working in events management I greeted and watched high profile professional speakers and celebrities arrive, rehearse and speak on stage to huge audiences. Watching Claudia Winkelman rehearse for an event was a masterclass in itself!

I learnt many tips along the way and I’ve had to master a lot too! You see I had a terrible experience many years ago where I froze in front of an audience- I knew my subject but it was a last minute request by a team and I said yes! But I hadn’t had time to think about it, to prepare properly … and then guess what happened ?

I stood up, the adrenaline kicked in and my mind went blank, my palms went sweaty, my heartbeat 💗 went mad as the fear rose inside me! Eeekkk!!! I lost my thoughts, lost my words … I froze! For me it looking back now was my peri menopausal brain kicking in but ialso lack of preparation and I t was scary!

Thankfully I did get it back together within a few minutes, but boy did I get truly upset afterwards! I felt like I’d made the biggest fool of myself ! Big lesson learnt!

Turned out most people in the audience hadn’t even noticed?!! But I did!

Anyway after that day I vowed never again would I give a last minute speech to a large audience without proper preparation. As the saying goes - fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

So since then and for all my events however big of small I plan, I rehearse. but most of all for me it’s about making it authentic. I bring my own personality into it as needs to be in my voice and delivered my way. I make sure I connect with the audience effectively!

I know so many people avoid giving presentations and get nervous talking, even in front of a smaller audience so here’s my five top tips to help:

Plan, plan and plan some more - know your subject well, really well, know you’re audience as well. Use a personal story, bring your personality into the talk too and make it conversational. Use prompt cards if you need to (but don’t read verbatim from them ! Rehearse and rehearse some more!

Mindset - Your mindset is everything, if you spend your time worrying about your talk and visualising a bad experience your nerves will increase and guess what will happen!! Instead spend time imagining yourself stepping out there speaking to the audience confidently, clearly with a big smile on your face and the audience loving it - smiling always reduces the nerves! Deep breathing really works!

Don’t apologise - when you talk don’t apologise for being nervous when you start or if you make a mistake (chances are they won’t even notice) and here’s the thing they want you to do well too! Stay focussed on your talk throughout which is why planning is key!

Be authentic - Make sure your speech/ talk is authentic and represents your personal brand. You’re not trying to be someone else- you are being you !! The more you speak the more comfortable it becomes! There may well be nerves but nerves are good, even the most seasoned actors get nervous before they go on stage! Use the energy positively and build your confidence…

Look good - feel good - Wear something that makes you feel confident, but you want to feel like you, so choose something that makes you feel like the best version of you and also represents your personality who you are and your personal brand!

Stepping totally out of your comfort zone in life is hard, believe me I know, but it’s where the magic happens in your brand and business. And although public speaking is not something that comes easily to many people, honestly the feeling when you come off stage is so good - you’ll want to go out and do it alL

Good luck!


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