Public speaking is one of the most common fears, and for good reason. It’s nerve-wracking to get up in front of a group of people and talk. Going live on social can cause the same reaction because not only do you have to worry about what you’re going to say, but you also have to worry about how you’re going to come across to your audience. Will they like you? Will they think you’re smart? Will they be bored?
As one who used to physically shake when holding a microphone to simply introduce someone else, I learned how to overcome my feat and deliver keynotes on a national stage as well as at TEDx, and I’ve gone live too many times to count.
In this video, I’ll share tips to help you overcome your fear of public speaking so you can start using live video to grow your business.
If you know you need to add video to your marketing strategy but feel a little uncomfortable going live, here are two reasons that might change your mind.
Did you know 72% of clients would rather learn about a product or service by way of video and viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text?
Algorithms LOVE video so this means more eyes and potentially new followers on your content. This also helps you make an authentic connection with potential clients! Few are taking advantage of live video so this gives you the opportunity to increase your visibility in a big way!
1. It’s All In Your Mind
I’m sure you can relate to this: You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see that one friend who’s always live on social media. And you wonder, “Why does she do that? Is she crazy?” It’s normal to feel a little intimidated by going live. After all, it feels like everyone is watching you and judging you.
TIP: Get clear on your why – what is your purpose for wanting to overcome your fear of public speaking? Your why is a huge motivator and will help you push past the fear. If it’s because someone told you that you have to do this – it won’t work. Internal motivation is a must.
The better you understand your fear, the easier it’ll be to work through it. Start by changing your mindset. Think about all of the times you’ve been in front of people and had a great conversation. My speaking coach told me that keynotes were not a monologue – they are a dialogue. The same holds true for going live. Look at the camera like someone you are talking to.
If you’re afraid of public speaking because you’re worried about what people will think of you, then focus on your message and what you have to say instead of worrying about how you look or sound. Stop trying to present to an audience and focus on talking to one person.
When you’re talking to someone, it’s easy to focus on their reactions and forget about everyone else in the room. But when you’re talking to a large group of people, it can be easy to feel like you’re speaking to a faceless mass. To combat this, try to focus on one person at a time. Pick someone in the back row or off to the side and speak to them as if they’re the only person in the room. This will help you feel more connected to your audience and make it easier to engage with them.
You can do this! You have the ability to engage and connect with an audience, so go into your live video feeling confident and prepared.
The greatest obstacle you’ll ever face is the four inches between your ears!
Tip #2: Connect With Your Audience
Using the 4 Ps for vocal delivery will help you do just that.
- Pace (how fast or slow you talk)
- Pitch (how high or low your voice is)
- Pause (take a breath & let your words sink in!) – “don’t step on the laugh” means to leave time for the audience to respond
- Power (how loud or soft you talk) – is important to soften when you have a point to make
Fun fact: Studies show that when you vary these 4 Ps in your speech, people perceive you as being more authentic.
Other ways to connect with your audience include taking up more physical space in your video and using gestures to emphasize talking points. Consider:
- Sitting up taller in your chair (or stand).
- Widen your shoulders, and open your mouth wider as you talk (pro tip: this also helps prevent you from stumbling over words).
- Move your body and gesture.
- Talking with your hands is actually a really effective strategy to help you connect as long as you stay within the video frame (otherwise it becomes distracting).
Your personality is what endears and connects you to your audience. Give yourself the freedom of being able to show your personality by knowing your content so you can focus on delivery when live.
TIP 3. Use the Lipstick Effect to Your Advantage
Studies at Harvard University showed that getting ready (doing your hair, putting on makeup, dressing up etc.) not only boosts your confidence/self-esteem but can also boost your cognitive abilities. The study referred to this as the lipstick effect. Take advantage of the lipstick effect and get yourself ready.
- Wear something that makes you feel good and that you would feel confident wearing if you were meeting someone important.
- Hair, makeup, and even wear lashes if that’s your style.
- Do lives in a space that you are comfortable in – sitting in your favorite chair, outside, in your office, etc.
The Lipstick Effect ties back to tip #1. It’s all in your mind so that means you have complete control. Anything that makes you feel good will help you show up more confidently on camera.
TIP 4: Stage Time Stage Time Stage Time
Spoiler alert – when new to going live, winging it doesn’t work!
Write out a script. This doesn’t mean that you have to read from a piece of paper the entire time, but having a general outline or idea of what you want to say will help you feel more confident when going live. This also gives you the opportunity to practice beforehand so that you can get comfortable with the material. On average we speak about 100 words per minute and will speed up when nervous.
Condense your script to bullet points and cliff notes and print them off. Then memorize your 60-second introduction. If you’re doing an Instagram Reel then you can record segments so if you are still nervous, put a Post-It Note on your phone to help you stay on track.
One of the best tips – practice out loud since you will sound different than talking through this in your head.
This one should be pretty obvious, but the more you practice, the better you’ll be because you will be more comfortable in front of the camera. Rehearse in front of a mirror, record yourself and watch the video back, or do a practice run in front of friends or family.
Before you go live, take a few moments to visualize. This will help increase your confidence and ease any nervousness you may be feeling. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or scared, take a few minutes to visualize yourself giving a great presentation. See yourself being calm and confident on stage and see your audience reacting positively to your message. This visualization can help boost your confidence and make it easier to get through your next live video.
You’ve heard the phrase, fake it till you make it! This might sound a little bit crazy, but it works. If you’re feeling nervous, put on a big smile and act like you’re the most confident person in the world. The more you do it, the easier it’ll become, and eventually, it’ll be second nature.
TIP #5: Learn How to Improvise
If improvising isn’t your thing then these tips are a must because it’s tech and things happen! The more often you go live will help you get comfortable when you have a glitch and roll with it. The benefit of a technical glitch is making a more authentic connection with your audience.
If anything goes wrong, then take advantage of it by calling out the elephant out in the room! An example – my laptop shut down in the middle of a workshop one time so I made a quick FB post to my group that I would be right back. When I logged back into Restream, I was good to go since the live stream had not lost connection. The comments the attendees were making were hilarious so we all got a good laugh.
When recording a reel on my phone in my car, the light kept changing on my phone so my face could barely be seen. Instead of getting frustrated, I used it as the topic “show up anyway” and got thousands of views!
If anything happens that you can’t get back on live then use it to your advantage to create a social media post and send an email to your list with an update and invite them to an encore presentation!
Another way to improvise when you go live is to ask your audience questions based on the comments they are posting. This is a great way to engage with your viewers and get them involved in the conversation. If no one is posting then be sure to ask questions to get them engaged. No one knows what you are going to say!! So if you go off your notes then just keep going, improvise and you’ll be able to recover.
I hope these tips help you feel more confident about going live! Remember, practice makes perfect so don’t be afraid to get out there and start sharing your message with the world. Going live – building an online presence – can help you boost your confidence and open many doors for you professionally and personally.
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