I remember when the mere thought of speaking in front of a group would send shivers down my spine and cause me to shake uncontrollably. But with dedication, practice and effort I learned how to become more comfortable on stage—and it turns out that even great public speakers must work hard at honing their skills!

1. Mimic the Masters – To become an exceptional speaker, I think it’s important to go beyond simply watching the best of them. Instead, find a speech you admire and try your hand at replicating their style by recording yourself performing their words!

Not only will this give you practice without the pressure of having content all on your own but also grant insights into how those transformed themselves from great speakers to masterful storytellers.

2. Step out of your Comfort Zone – I’m a naturally shy person, and the idea of talking to complete strangers used to fill me with dread.

I soon realized that this isn’t helpful thinking — nobody is truly scary when you get down to it;we’re all just regular folks trying our best. So I set out on an experiment: To start conversations with random strangers wherever possible throughout my day-to-day life!

3. Tell a Story – I’m sure you’ve heard it before: public speaking instantly brings to mind dread and fear. But what if we take those words out of our vocabulary, replacing them with something much more familiar—like storytelling?

Thinking in terms of a story instead of a presentation can make this whole ordeal seem far less intimidating!

4. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – When it comes to giving presentations, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for making the experience easier. For starters, rather than investing time in creating new content each and every occasion – I’ll often tweak or combine speeches from previous talks.

To add even more ease into the equation, there’s nothing wrong with having go-to outfits when public speaking as ‘public speaking costumes.’ Doing this makes me feel ready and completely prepared before getting out there and crushing it every single time.

5. Embrace the Worst Case Scenario, It Isn’t So Bad – Feeling anxious before a presentation is totally normal. But it can be really debilitating too, and I know the feeling well! That’s why when those nerves start to hit me hard, my first response nowadays is always: what am I so afraid of?

What’s the worst that could happen if things don’t go perfectly? More often than not, stuttering over just one or two words won’t make much difference at all – in fact people probably won’t even remember for more than a few minutes afterwards.

When I stand on that stage, my mission isn’t to be the center of attention. It’s not about me at all;it’s about how what I have to say can help others. Sure, there are butterflies in my stomach each time – but instead of being scared, this challenge inspires and excites me!

Photo of David Doerrier David Doerrier

As a proud US Air Force retiree and experienced instructional designer, corporate trainer, and train-the-trainer facilitator, I have made it my mission to show people how presentation skills are critical for success. Unfortunately, despite best intentions too often presenters end up overwhelming audiences…

As a proud US Air Force retiree and experienced instructional designer, corporate trainer, and train-the-trainer facilitator, I have made it my mission to show people how presentation skills are critical for success. Unfortunately, despite best intentions too often presenters end up overwhelming audiences rather than providing useful information due to inadequate training on effective audience engagement methodologies.

Which is why throughout the years of coaching countless individuals through these challenges I have been able to enable them to unlock their true potential as presenters – making sure they can deliver powerful messages every single time!

“Talking and telling ain’t training or selling!”

For anyone looking to up their presentation game, I’m here to help! With my expertise as a veteran of the industry, I’ll work with you on perfecting your engagement style and making sure your presentation is unforgettable.

“With the right processes, the right instruction, and the right amount of constructive feedback, you will be able to present your message with poise, impact, and engagement!”