Public speaking is hard.
It’s scary. You get stage fright.
It comes with the territory, at least for 90% of people.
Even if you’re usually a pretty charismatic person in small groups or one-on-one situations, getting up on stage in front of people is a whole different matter.
As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself giving talks from time to time. In many cases, the end goal is making sales, convincing the audience to buy a product or a service from you.
But that’s hard to do when you’re shaking with nervousness.
The key to successful public speaking — especially when a sales pitch is an ulterior motive — is simple but powerful.
You want to be seen as an authority.
If you can make yourself sound confident and authoritative, people will be inclined to trust you.
A recent Entrepreneur piece from frequent public speaker Dustin Mathews explains this further.
Be (seen as) the authority.
When you go on stage and act like the authority, even if your “knees are knocking” from fear, people will believe and respect you.
I gave my first speech a few years after college, and having a baby face, I looked like I was about 16 years old. That didn’t matter. All of these business people looked at me as an authority just because of how I presented myself. You can do that, too.
I once went to see Christie Frank at a real estate meeting. She had just become the Apprentice, and everyone there looked at her as the ultimate authority. In the middle of her speech, she hadn’t even made the offer yet and an 80-year-old woman got up to give her a check. Christie looked at it and said, “Ma’am, you haven’t even filled it out yet.”
It was a blank check.
This woman just got up and gave her a check because she was seen as such a celebrity. So when you show up to speak, show up like you’re a celebrity.
You can get more helpful public speaking tips over at Entrepreneur.