Practice. That’s the best way to get comfortable with speaking in front of others. And though the idea of public speaking may sound terrifying, your confidence will get a major boost from stepping out of your comfort zone, and into the spotlight.
Launch your “public speaking career” with one of these methods:
1. Create a webinar. You won’t even have to face your audience, but you can still get experience by explaining something you know well. Tools such as Slideshare.net can help you create one.
Determine your topic by coming up with three great tips in your particular area of expertise (social media, customer service, technology, etc.). Next, tailor your tips to create a helpful webinar for a particular audience segment (admins just launching their career, admins who want to transition into marketing, etc.).
2. Sit on a panel. Does your local chamber of commerce ever hold panel discussions? Do you belong to a professional organization that holds educational panels?
The advantage of serving on a panel is that not all eyes will be on you. And people will be interested in knowing more about the topic you’re discussing.
3. Scan your local business journal for ideas, recommends Laura Stack, president of the National Speakers Association.
In the calendar section, “You will see a list of groups and contact names just waiting for you to speak. There are many local associations, chambers, and service clubs in your area that need a speaker at each meeting,” Stack says.
4. Contact your local library, bookstores, churches and nonprofits. Tie your message into theirs.
— Adapted from “Do You Stink at Public Speaking,” Marla Tabaka, Inc.