The fear of public speaking is common.  Many of us struggle with racing hearts and sweaty palms at the prospect of speaking in front of an audience, never mind actually doing it, and we suffer from nervousness because we’re focused on ourselves. Public speaking coach to the C-suite and author of Your Perfect Presentation, Bill Hoogterp explains in his book how the brain processes information, what people respond to, and how to hold the audience in the palm of your hand.

While working on this book’s publicity campaign I had the opportunity to attend Bill’s Own The Room training in NYC and learned an important fact about public speaking which is to get over yourself and focus on the real star of the presentation, which is the audience! At the training we worked on eliminating weak language which most people use and don’t even realize it. He taught us to NOT use words that include like, umm, and so. I also learned that a pause can be a powerful tool and that we don’t need to fill silence with words.  He taught me a great trick about Voice Modulation and how using the room can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your speech– the more you move towards your audience as you speak, the better and it’s important to highlight words in the sentence that you think are most important.

During my training I worked with a group of French students and our assignment was to create a one minute commercial. We went outside into the streets of NYC and filmed a piece about tourism. We had to be creative, concise and outgoing. The exercise definitely pushed us to think outside the box and go beyond our comfort level and it was fun!