When we hear someone give a great speech or listen to a person who has the gift of gab, it’s easy to think, “I could never do that. I’m not a public speaker.”

Maybe you’re nervous about talking in public like I was, or perhaps you feel like you don’t have anything important to say.

Maybe you’re just a bit shy? Truth be told, most of us are!

If public speaking is uncomfortable, why the heck does ANYONE do it?

Maybe you were asked to give a speech at your best friend’s wedding?

Maybe you want to share your faith & tell someone about your Lord & Savior?

Have you gone through abuse, been bullied, or did you overcome addiction & know you could help others if you could just find the right words?

You have a story to share, and there’s someone who needs to hear it.

We all have hurdles to jump through, but if you’ll jump in & start taking opportunities to speak, I guarantee it’ll get easier each time.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’m checking my notes A LOT. That’s because I survived malignant brain cancer & my memory is trash.

Without GPS, I literally wouldn’t be able to find my way home tonight.

I thought if I just practiced enough & did enough speeches, I’d be able to memorize a 5-minute speech one day.

If you offered me $100 to tell you the first sentence of this speech, you could keep your hundred bucks, but I’ve taken hundreds of opportunities to speak & figured out along the way, looking at notes once in a while isn’t a big deal.

There really isn’t an excuse not to become a skilled speaker. It can help you in your job, social situations & in pretty much every aspect of your life.

All you’ve really got to do is start practicing & offer to speak (even if you’re not 100% confident yet).

How do you become a great public speaker?

It starts with thinking about how you want to make people feel when listening to or thinking back about your speech? Why do they need the information you’re trying to share? If you make the speech about your audience instead of about yourself, people automatically want to listen!

The new way of thinking becomes: “How can I use my skills and personality type to share the message my audience needs to hear?”

Once you know what message you need to share with the world, the rest is easy! Just start practicing!

Speaking groups like Toastmasters are a great place to start, but don’t let yourself get too comfortable just talking to the same group each week. Take chances to speak in unfamiliar environments too!

Did you know you can be interviewed as a guest on a podcast? If you haven’t been a guest on a podcast yet, find a few you’d like to be a guest on & listen to a few episodes before reaching out to the host. Podcast interviews are often much like the table topics portion of Toastmasters but even more effortless. The podcast host typically asks questions about your area of expertise, so all you really need to do is speak freely & share relevant info with their audience!

Podcasts can also be a great place to increase sales for your product or service! Good podcast hosts will typically tell their listeners to check out your book, business, course, etc., and that endorsement can be incredible, not only for sales but for personal branding as well!

Once you’ve done a few podcast episodes, you can reach out to radio shows who interview guests. Some radio stations allow remote interviews, while others prefer guests to be interviewed in their studio, but this is another incredible way to gain exposure for your message!

Another excellent opportunity to practice speaking in public is to reach out to hosts of local events & ask if they’re looking for guest speakers.

Your story is important. The doors public speaking opens up are worth every bit of nervousness you may experience, and it will definitely help you grow!

I hope you’ll never be too afraid or nervous to share what God has done in your life, even if it’s just with someone who could use a little extra love.

Public speaking doesn’t just open up opportunities; our stories can change lives!