“Can you speak at our event next week?”.  An innocent request, but those eight little words would once strike dread into me.

For years I lived in fear of having to speak in public.  The more senior I became in my company, the higher the expectation was that I would be good at presenting.  But I wasn’t.  I was terrible… and usually terrified.  Each time, I re-lived the same horror movie and the panic just got worse.

In my company, we would all cluck in sympathy with anyone who was about to undergo a similar trauma: “You’ve got to give a presentation! Oh, no!  Poor You!  How long? followed with a feeble “Well, good luck!”.

It may be like that where you work.  But why?  Why do we accept our fear and dread when this is a skill like any other that you can learn, master and enjoy (and connect people with your ideas, your products or services).

Last week, I spoke at the Professional Speaking Association North West Speaker Factor competition and shared my three tips for becoming a confident and successful speaker.  You can watch my talk here (it’s just five minutes long).

Don’t get fearful – get good at it… because once you learn to love presenting, it’s an affair that will last forever. And remember Don’t Panic, It’s Only A Presentation.