On the 8th of March, and throughout the month, thousands and thousands of women will be giving public speeches, the majority for the very first time. From everyone I’ve spoken to who is in this situation, the nerves are growing, the anxiety too. Ladies, you’ve got this!!
To help, I thought I’d give you some tips on what I’ve learned as a professional speaker, because even after all these years, I still get nervous every time I speak too. I hope this helps.
- Embrace the nerves. It’s a good thing, because it means you care. Use the energy of your nerves to power your speech
- Seize your moment, because this is your moment to shine. Whoever invited you to speak, did so because you’ve got something important to share. So, get lots of practice in before the big day, then get up there and deliver your speech, because someone in your audience needs to hear what you’ve got to say. YOU have the ability to change people’s lives with the words you will share this week. So seize the moment and believe in the power of your message
- Before the big day, record your speech, whether audio or better yet, video. Listen to yourself. It’s uncomfortable yes, but it’s a really good way of critiquing yourself and fine-tuning your message. Also, get feedback from someone close to you. Always useful
- Most new speakers underestimate how much time a speech will take, because you just don’t have the experience of knowing how much additional time a live audience can add to a speech. As an example, if you’re doing an activity, it will take much longer than you expect to get your audience up, moving and then settled back down afterwards. The best thing to do is always make it shorter and you’ll probably hit the time perfectly. Speaking to time is really important to ensure the event doesn’t run over and shows respect to other speakers
- Before you go on stage, even if it’s a digital stage, stand off to the side with your hands on your hips for five minutes before show time. This is a famous TED Talk tip. I do this all the time, because it really opens you up, and helps you get into a confident mindset. When you’re standing with your hands on your hip, take lots of deep breaths too. Relax
- Have a mantra for yourself and the message you want to share. As an example: I am here to make the world a better place through the words that I share. This really helps you to believe in the power of your voice to create change. Say it over and over in your mind before the big day
- If you’re speaking digitally, look into the camera so people feel that you’re looking straight into their eyes. This is an uncomfortable thing to do, however if you find yourself looking at the actual screen and the people in your audience, just come back to the camera. A lot of people put sticky notes next to the camera with arrows saying Look Here.
- When you speak, always remember it’s about your audience, it’s not about you. That can feel like a really weird thing to say when you’re so nervous, but if you can embrace this idea, it helps your nerves! You’re there for your audience, you’re there for your message, and you’re there to change lives
- Your audience will hold you up, smile, laugh and love you for being up there. They want you to succeed. When looking out over the sea of faces, look at the ones smiling at you, and try not to be put off by blank faces. I had an early speaking session where the whole audience was looking at me like this and I thought I bombed. Afterwards I found out that the audience loved it. The blank faces nearly put me off, but it was a great lesson not to going into self-judgement while I was speaking. Just speak your truth with love in your heart
Ladies enjoy. Have fun. Believe in yourself, believe in your message, believe in your ability to change people’s lives. This pandemic has been horrendous for everyone, more so for women. Progress for women around the world has taken a huge steps backwards in the last 12 months, in both professional and private life. So this International Women’s Day, let’s raise our voices, share our message bravely, boldly, courageously, and believe in our power to change the world for the better. We need you
I hope these tips help and good luck with your speeches. I always say if you can change one life with your message, it’s a message worth sharing. Go for it and good luck.
To my fellow professional speaker buddies, anything you’d add?
The podcast with Gina Romero went live – Unconventionally with Gina Romero, EP 2: The Many Voices of Andrea T. Edwards. Would love to know your thoughts.
You can learn more about the work Gina does in this great article – kudos woman! Creating income and job opportunities for women.
I’m proud to be a contributing author to Damian Corbet’s – The Social CEO! It made it onto FT business books: March edition – awesome.
I published this blog this week – Just another case of marketing really screwing women and children – because I’m on the streets, speaking to people, and this is something that absolutely drives me crazy!
Before you scroll, please, if you can donate, donate, donate!!! Some suggestions World Food Program, UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , Kiva.org, Soi Dog Foundation. If you can afford to be generous, now is the time to help your fellow human.
A special piece to share today. One Phuket – Another Day In Paradise (Cover) – was created to raise money to help people struggling economically due to the pandemic. A special group of people drove this from behind the scenes at Phuket Academy of Performing Arts and Legend Music – Recording Studio. You can follow One Phuket here.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Climate Crisis / 6th Mass Extinction
Texas Farmers Tally Up the Damage From a Winter Storm ‘Massacre’ tks Denise Chai
Brunt Ice Shelf: Big iceberg calves near UK Antarctic base tks Lavinia Thanapathy
Vaccine nationalism will leave everyone more at risk of coronavirus tks Francine Varner
If he did it tks Phillipa Edwards
The Republican Party Is Now in Its End Stages tks David Lim
In Morrison’s government, a lack of accountability has become systemic tks Willie Wahlin
Business and Technology
Better Business Act tks Richard Lowe
My 10 Biggest Mistakes As BrewDog CEO tks Damian Corbett
Social issues (#BlackLivesMatter) and humanity
Six Laws of Manhood That Everyone Should Live By tks Joanne Flinn
Passion, humour, history
Octopus steals camera and wins underwater photography competition tks Frank Roberts
Thousands of artifacts discovered at a 12,500-year-old site in Connecticut tks Lalitha Anapoorna Shivaswamy Rajesh
Let me know if anything jumped out at you?
18 Steps to An All-Star LinkedIn Profile
This book is the starting point for LinkedIn success. It has everything you need to reach All-Star!! You can buy it on Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon.in and Flipkart. It’s also available as an eBook on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks.
Check out Second Nature Social
This is a new series, designed to help beginners get up to speed with everything necessary on social media. Follow my YouTube channel and see the latest.
Are you a Social CEO?
I’m proud to be a contributing author to The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader. You can order it on Amazon today.
Want to claim your stage?
Check out our co-authored Best Selling Book – Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman – proud to be part of this too!
Want proof social leadership transforms business and attracts customers?
Check out this case study with IBM Asia Pacific. Incredible results.
Want to be a super star online?
Don’t know where to start, check out my e-learning course How to build a rock star personal brand today.
I believe it’s time for all of us to embrace our voice and embrace the future. We do this by working and living ‘out loud’ with meaning, intention, integrity and by being true to ourselves. If you own your voice, you own your future.
Connect with me
If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on any of these platforms on social media.
My blog andreatedwards.com
LinkedIn The Digital Conversationalist
YouTube Uncommon Courage