Tips for Overcoming a Fear of Public Speaking[caption id="attachment_5597" align="alignleft" width="150"] Marsha Friedman[/caption]
By Marsha FriedmanRecently, I was asked to be a panelist for a webinar about using the power of publicity to achieve your goals. The participants asked great questions. The first: “How do you step into the spotlight when you don’t like the spotlight?” Getting media attention and speaking engagements -- the spotlight -- goes right to the heart of my book, “Celebritize Yourself.” By boosting your visibility and your credibility, you set yourself apart from your competition and become a trusted authority in your field. Should you abandon that avenue if you don’t like the spotlight? Absolutely not. I was – and still am – that person. I had no desire to seek the spotlight, and even had trepidation about it, but eventually I realized I had to for the sake of my business. First I had to figure out why I was so uncomfortable with the idea of being in the spotlight. The answer for me was simple: The thought of public speaking terrified me. I’d seen wonderful speakers, including my own brother, who could captivate huge audiences and have them hanging on every word. I knew I didn’t have that kind of talent so why bother even trying? Because, as I came to realize, I had to. I needed to do it in order to grow my business and, on a deeper level, I needed to do it for me! My fear was holding me back – an admission that became increasingly painful as time marched on. I talked to my brother about the problem. “It comes naturally to you and the other great speakers I’ve seen,” I told him. “But it doesn’t come naturally to me!” His response surprised me. “No, it doesn’t all come naturally,” he said. “I had to work at it.” For years, he spoke to small audiences at seminars. They proved an ideal training ground. He critiqued himself and got feedback from others so that he could constantly polish his delivery. So, first tip: Start small. Give yourself time to get used to the spotlight. Here are a few more tips for public speaking.