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How to Build an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

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Chapter 20How to pitch, present and persuade

Here’s a phrase I hear all the time — not: ‘I love public speaking’. It will come as no surprise that many of the entrepreneurs I interviewed hate speaking in public.

They loathe it for the same reasons most people do: it’s nerve wracking, stressful and all-consuming. Never forget, one wrong move in front of the media can have a negative impact on your reputation and business. If you court the media, you have to be ready for the media.

Speak up! It’s good for business

In my personal experience, more women than men shy away from public speaking. This is a mistake. We women need to have our voices heard on stage, on panels and in public. If we give away these opportunities to others, we surrender our power and the potential to influence. If you get the chance to speak in public, take it. Practice makes perfect. Don’t wait for the nerves to go away either before you give it a go. They won’t. You just learn how to manage them more effectively.

Woe betide any entrepreneur who can’t hold their own on stage, at a media conference or at an impromptu door-stop. But that fear of getting it wrong shouldn’t stop you from trying to learn how to become a better public speaker.

Jane Lu from Showpo has the right attitude.

I hate public speaking. I get so nervous I feel sick. But I do it because I like to overcome my fear. I want to conquer it and not let that fear define me. As an entrepreneur I get asked to speak a lot so I figure I may as well ...

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