Jittery hands, racing heart, blank mind. If you're climbing the career ranks, there is a good chance you've experienced one or all of these emotions when you get up to give a presentation or a talk. There's no escaping it, and the earlier you accept that public speaking is going to be a part of your career, the better. After all, practice makes perfect (or so said Tina Craig of Bag Snob this weekend at Create & Cultivate Dallas).
Whether you're prepping for a pitch meeting or you're planning to one day give a world-changing TED talk, we asked the industry best to give their quick and dirty tips for getting up in front of a crowd or an investor.
ANNIE LAWLESS, NY TIMES BEST SELLER, CO-FOUNDER SUJA, CREATOR BLAWNDE.COM
"Don't filter yourself because everyone can tell. Be authentic-- that will help you be conversational. And don't worry about what you think they want to hear."
DANIELLE DUBOISE, CO-FOUNDER SAKARA LIFE
"Memorize three things you know you want to say. Don't memorize anything else because you'll sound like a robot. And have a code word for yourself. Mine is solar plexus, for when I tap into my power."
SOPHIA RIVKA ROSSI, CO-FOUNDER HELLO GIGGLES
"The key to public speaking is to disassociate, j/k, to connect to what you are expressing, and just remember no one really ever cares more than you do."
JACLYN JOHNSON, FOUNDER CREATE & CULTIVATE
"The worst thing you can do on stage is think about yourself. What matters is the audience. So get out of your head and your inspirational insight will find a way into theirs."
JULIE RICE, CO-FOUNDER SOULCYCLE
"Speak from your heart. Everyone can understand passion...oh yeah and 'takeaways.' Leave people with something actionable."
TINA CRAIG, CO-FOUNDER BAG SNOB
“I talked about the end user, as if she was there.” On “Shirley,” the character she created and used when pitching HSN. Adding, "You do anything enough, and it becomes fun. Practice in your sleep."
HILLARY KERR, CO-FOUNDER WHO WHAT WEAR, CLIQUE MEDIA
"Some people thought we were cream puffs, but we were smart. I like to say it was like being bitten to death by a butterfly." On early fundraising meetings for Who What Wear.
RACHEL ASHWELL, FOUNDER RACHEL ASHWELL SHABBY CHIC
"Be truthful. It's too easy to say what you think sounds good."
ELIZABETH CUTLER, CO-FOUNDER SOULCYCLE
Mic drop, Elizabeth. *claps*