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How to Speak Up for Your Business and be Better at Public Speaking
‘Oh gosh, do I have to?’ Is that your reaction when asked to go live on socials, guest on a podcast or speak at an event? And the answer is no. You absolutely don’t have to. But you sure as sugar should want to.
Using your voice is one of the best ways to grow your business, and it’s largely free. Who doesn’t love the ROI on that?
When you own the voice of your business then you have wider reach, can create more genuine connections and amplify your impact.
So here are my five tips to shake the fears and speak up for your business!
- Say Yes
Say yes now and panic later (jokes, no need to panic). Say yes to that podcast invitation, that request to speak on a panel, that offer to go live on social media with another business woman, that invitation to apply to speak at the Thrive Women Summit.
Firsts are always unfamiliar, yet the more you do it, the more your audience grows – and before you know it you won’t just be saying yes to speaking opportunities but seeking them out!
- Practice Speaking Your Story
When you hear an amazing business story, chances are, it’s not the first time that founder has shared that story. Stories need to be crafted, practiced and refined by speaking out loud to have maximum impact.
Create a story journal, where you jot down key moments in your business journey and the corresponding lesson or point of the story. Then talk these aloud at any chance – like in the shower or brunch with the girls – so when it’s crunch time on a panel or podcast you have compelling stories to share.
- Learn to Love Your Voice
I get it, hearing your voice played back can be cringey. But if you don’t feel like your voice sounds good, how can you expect your audience to be drawn to it?
Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint, so own your vocal you-ness! It’s like a pet – if you treat it with affection and kindness it will love you back. If you neglect your voice, it will abandon you when you need it most or bite you in the butt!
Two great ways to learn to love your voice
1. Record yourself often (audio and video) – this will help you form a bond with your voice.
2. Do a daily voice warm-up – this will help your voice sound attractive and keep it healthy for many years to come. Simple humming is a great place to start.
And be grateful for your voice and the ability to use it. Many women don’t have the ability to speak their truth and risk their lives to make themselves heard.
So, remember, you don’t have to speak, you get to!
- Inspire Yourself
We take on average 20,000 breaths every day. How many of these breaths do you notice? Imagine if you noticed more? When we breathe, we on average use only 70% of our lung capacity. You can see how breathing is nature’s biggest secret.
Picture a crying baby. Their whole torso is expanding and contracting. It’s pure voice. It’s also why such big sounds emerge from such tiny humans. As we grow-up we can lose that natural voice we had as babies. Maybe you were told to ‘shut up’ or ‘suck it in’ or ‘stand there and look pretty’ and our breathing becomes shallow, which makes our voices weak.
So breathing becomes less and less natural and more and more habitual.
What breathing habits have you formed?
Put your hand on your tummy and breathe in. What direction did your hand move? If it moves in or up, chances are you’re breathing high – just into the top cones of your lungs. If your hand moves out you’re filling your belly, which is fab for speaking.
Breathing in is also known as inspiration. The word comes from the Latin inspirare which means ‘to breathe in.’ How can you inspire others if you don’t first inspire yourself?
- Remember Your Why
When you’re super clear on why you do what you do and the impact your message has, the fears associated with speaking start to melt away.
Have a mission, a purpose, and a vision that is worth pushing through discomfort for and communicate your reason for doing things to your audience. Think purpose over panic.
You have a message worth sharing and a voice worth hearing. Speaking isn’t a scary ‘thing’ to do, it’s an incredible way to channel your energy to the world. Raise your vocal vibrations and hear – and feel – the beautiful ripple of positive vibrations you create!
About the Author
Name: Sally Prosser
Professional Title: Holistic Voice & Public Speaking Coach
Bio: Sally Prosser is a voice and public speaking coach with 12 years experience in media, including TV, radio news reporting, and PR – acting as spokesperson for one of Australia’s largest water companies. She helps professionals and business owners speak with confidence; from stepping on stage to speaking on podcasts to showing up online and in the boardroom.
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