Even in this digital age, public speaking is an important skill for any serious business-minded person. For those of you who remember public speaking as a nerve-wracking high school class that you hoped you could forget, you are not alone.

Most people suffer from some level of fear about public speaking. Whether it makes you slightly nervous or absolutely turns your stomach, there are ways to reduce your fear of public speaking and improve your influence. Here are three tips to reduce your fear of public speaking.

Positive visualization

If you get nervous just thinking about public speaking, you may find that positive visualization is a great way to reduce your anxiety. Positive visualization is practicing how the event will turn out well and “practicing” your speech and the outcome in your mind.

Athletes use this strategy to improve their performance and it really works. Lay out a detailed plan in your mind of exactly how you want your speech to go. Everything from what you wear and how you walk up to the podium to how you feel while you are talking and how the audience responds should be part of your visualization process.

Be prepared

Don’t leave any part of your public speaking up to chance because it will only throw you off when something unexpected happens. Have your message memorized and well practiced.

If you are using visual aids, make sure they work in your setting and get your message across without being boring. Use images or short points to get your message across instead of multiple bullet points.

Connect with your audience

When you are up in front of a large crowd, it is easy to forget that everyone listening is a person just like you. Find one or two people in your audience to make eye contact with that you know will help encourage you.

Build your confidence by focusing on these people first, preferably in a smaller setting. Speaking to groups of friends and family members is a great way to start.

Public speaking is a big part of connecting with other entrepreneurs as well as your customer base. Developing your public speaking skills will position you as an authority in your field and greatly widen your circle of influence.

If you are interested in making connections and taking networking to a whole new level, you need to attend the next Twisted Networking event. Contact us and check out our website to find out more about these unique events that are guaranteed to connect you with other thriving entrepreneurs like yourself.