Question: What’s your best tip for entrepreneurs who are new to public speaking and want to get their feet wet?
Look for a Variety of Opportunities
"If you're just getting started with public speaking, it's up to you to seek out your own opportunities. Look at conferences in your field and apply to present. Reach out to podcasters and get yourself interviewed. You might also try hosting and recording an online webinar on your topic of expertise. Even if the audience is small, you'll get practice, and you can use the recording as sample work."
Try Improv Comedy
"Most hugely successful entertainers started out in improv, and it's become so popular lately as a hobby that there should be some great groups for it in every city. On top of teaching you how to adapt socially (even to the unexpected), it's also a great way to meet people and have a little fun throughout the week."
Script, Refine and Rehearse
"Consider the event an enjoyable performance opportunity. Spend time watching Steve Jobs pitch -- what he conveyed was almost second to his showmanship. He spent days practicing his script and setting each stage for his performance and audience. Engage your audience with pauses and changes of tone and speed. Video yourself and see what needs work, then refine and rehearse."
Book Gigs at Colleges
"Speaking to college kids is a great way to give back while getting experience in front of crowds. Start by reaching out to your own alma mater or schools in your area. You'll almost certainly find the business school would love to have you speak with their students. Speak for free, but prepare as if you're getting paid. Over time, you'll build up confidence and a great reputation."
"Public speaking is always nerve-wracking, but if you practice, it gets a little easier. When you know in depth what you are talking about, it is much easier to feel confident when speaking in front of a crowd."
"Toastmasters Clubs are weekly/bi-weekly meetings with a group of people focused on the goal of leadership and speeches. There are over 12,000 clubs in over 100 countries, and many are targeted toward entrepreneurs. Joining a club is easy and you can start giving prepared or impromptu speeches right away with valuable feedback in a non-hostile environment."