Dread the thought of speaking in public. Our founder, Irene Green, gives us her top tips to overcome your fear.

Irene shares her top tips to overcome the fear of public speaking:

Structure is critical. Organise your speech, stories and examples around 3 to 5 key messages. Represent each key message with a picture slide in a presentation or brief word prompts in your notes - aim for conversational story telling not reading a written speech.

Care deeply about what you want the audience to know. Memorize a meaningful opening - have it written in full to read if you need to. The first 30 seconds are the hardest. Once you have started your focus will shift from being about yourself to being all about your message and your fear will dramatically reduce.

Connect with the audience. Square your shoulders and lift your chin. Deliver your opening line to the back wall. Next focus on a friendly face in the middle then find another to the right and then another to the left. Take turns taking to them. This also helps if you are moving on stage, not behind a lectern.

Be well prepared. Know your speech - practice but then stop rehearsing 24 hours prior. Go early to AV rehearsal but do not deliver your speech. Just check sound, visuals and any video. Ask for a lapel microphone. Make sure you can see your slides without having to turn around. Sip warm liquids on the day and have a bottle of room temperature water on stage.

Use silence. The audience enjoys the state change of quiet. Use pause at the end of each key message to refocus on the next. If you lose your way pause to find your place, count to 5 slowly, find your next key message prompt then continue. If your breathing becomes shallow use pause to settle your breathing with a deep breath, 2, 3, 4, 5.

End well. Memorize a closing statement that leaves a lasting impression and compels people to agree with your message. Again, have it written down and read it if you need to.

Irene Green
Inspirational Women Founder