This past Friday I attended the Startup Princess Touchpoint conference as both an entrepreneur looking for inspiration, motivation and networking and also as a speaker on the "Raising a Family While Running a Startup" panel. Though I can fake it pretty well, public speaking is not my forte. On the other hand my husband can get up in front of a group without notes he's typed word for word (that would be me).
If you have an upcoming opportunity to speak in front of a group and you feel a little overwhelmed check out NewspaperGirl's "Tips for Public Speaking," an article where Janet Meiners interviewed Jason Alba, CEO of Jibberjobber.com and summarized his points on public speaking. I love this post because it's short and sweet and the tips are easy enough to implement. My two favorites:
- "Never apologize for yourself. You are the expert (even if you don't think you are). ..." This is a good one for a lot of us to remember. I think we all too often--and I think I was even guilty of this on Friday--apologize for what we feel are our inadequacies. We need to give ourselves a little more credit!
- "... Give short answers." I found out on Friday that a panel is made up of a variety of personalities. If you choose to answer a question, make your answer short and to the point so others on the panel can offer their two cents. I'd like to add "make sure you actually answer the question." It could be my Type A personality but whether in an audience or on a panel I always get a little frustrated when someone's answer, complete with anecdotes, never really answers the original question. The test? You find yourself silently asking, "What was the question again?"