It may come as a shock to many people that I used to be the absolute worst in public speaking. Even presenting to ONE PERSON! From stuttering, no eye contact, reading off of a piece of paper, shaking voice, these are the main tips I ended up doing that really helped.
I still get nervous when talking to large groups of people (virtual less so), but really just being comfortable with being uncomfortable I think is my BIGGEST tip and it’s easier said that done, but forcing yourself to speak in front of big groups either volunteering to present or becoming a host for townhalls at work, speak at school events, or even starting a YouTube channel!
Let me know what other tips you had in public speaking! I do plan on making a video on this because as someone who is an introvert who spoke in broken English due to my Asian American background, I never imagined myself speaking at large events or in big townhalls and presentations at work. Maybe someone could relate!
Follow me on Instagram at @christine.innovates for more! I go over technology consulting, technology, consulting, careers, and also my own personal stories and narratives as a young working professional!
I had a little “quiz” in my stories and I find it funny when people think I’m an extrovert HAHAHHA. I’m far from it: I’m actually an introvert! Despite being a consultant, a career where extroverts thrive in, I connect better in small groups or one on ones.
Sometimes you just need to put yourself out there, and over time, it’ll actually get much easier for you. Fake it till you make it! It started for me with Phi Chi Theta, the business fraternity I was involved in back in college. I would have NEVER guessed I would join Greek life, but I did because I wanted to meet different people, make new friends, and ultimately, really get myself out of the shell. I always thought I was very awkward and just didn’t know what to talk about. I actually stuttered, misspoke a lot of words (due to being surrounded by broken English and Chinese at home), and had absolutely no confidence in myself. Now as you can tell in my YouTube video I have more confidence in speaking and it’s a lot more coherent. Even during presentations back in high school, I literally read off of a piece of paper without once giving eye contact to my audience.
I even had a high school internship where I had to answer calls as a receptionist. Only 4 months later did I FINALLY pick up the phone. Imagine hiding away for 4 months of my internship NOT answering the phones which was literally a big part of my internship and making my manager pick it up instead. I was so ashamed. Everyone has their learning curve and their own demons. But I did it and that’s what matters. Just take that leap of faith and try it out! Once you do it more often, you’ll grow numb to it and you WILL be confident. You CAN do this. Comment down below on times you put yourself out there and how it went!
I used to do DECA high school business competitions. My first time was in my high school sophomore year when I did a 30-paged business plan on a East meets West department store which was a one-stop shop in Asian food, groceries, furniture, clothing… literally everything.
When we go to States competition in Rochester, we had to make an investment pitch. This was my first time ever presenting, and it was THE WORST. I LITERALLY read off a piece of paper and made NO eye contact. I epically failed. I went home so disappointed in myself because I had no confidence in myself despite knowing everything that I had to say.
I tried it again the next year and the year after that. I learned from my mistakes, and I knew it was all a confidence issue, but in my senior year, I made the top 10! I was able to do it by faking it even if I’m not confident.
Of course it doesn’t stop there. I went to college and when you major in business, you have to make presentations. My junior year in Core, AGAIN another program dedicated to a business plan on a new idea and an investment pitch, I had the confidence that shocked myself. Time and time again, I surprise myself and eventually, I was able to talk confidently and with poise. Now I KILL my job interviews, got my Accenture job, and now do YouTube videos where I put myself out there.
This was definitely a journey, but my confidence in myself, in my voice, and in my ideas have grown and now I am not afraid to be myself in front of anyone else. It took a while, but faking it till I made it definitely helped me get to this point, and I’m so glad I pushed myself! When have you pushed yourself for the better?
I also have a YouTube channel focusing on professional development, personal development, and a career & lifestyle in technology consulting!