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Your First Time

Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs

By

LeeAundra Temescu

LeeAundra Temescu, founder of The Contrary Public Speaker, an executive communications coaching firm

Most people do it for the first time in college. Some in high school. But you? You have remained sheltered and untouched. Until now.

If you are an entrepreneur and haven’t done it already, I can guarantee that you will at some time in the very near future have to make a presentation. In fact, you will probably have to make lots of them to investors, prospects, at conferences, for the media. If you are an entrepreneur, you must sell two things, an idea and yourself. Both of these cannot be sold without doing it, without speaking in public with confidence, authority, poise and passion.

I know you’re nervous. It’s only natural your first time. Public speaking is still peoples’ number one fear and if you haven’t done it before, the adrenaline can be paralyzing. But there are some very simple guidelines you can follow to make sure your first time is memorable.

Practice Safe Speaking – Be Prepared

If you commit yourself to preparing your presentation, you will perform as well as most people who have been doing it for years. Take the time to really think about the following:

  • What is my message? What do I want the audience to do and why should they do it?
  • Who is my audience? What do they think of my message, what do they think of me, what is their state of mind?
  • How do I want to structure my presentation?
  • How do I want to deliver it?
  • Do I need visual aids? What types of visuals will add real value to the presentation and not distract from me or my message?
  • What types of questions will be asked? Do I have good answers?
A couple of hours spent developing a message, analyzing your audience, writing a well-organized speech, creating appropriate and well-designed visuals and brainstorming potential questions will add immeasurably to your chances of success. Just as important, it will take away a lot of the uncertainty that is the core fear of speaking in public.

Continued...

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