How to survive the day of public speaking – tips from a consultant

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Chloé Van Vreckem

Chloé Van Vreckem


Public speaking is one of the most common fears in the entire world. I am Chloé and I am unfortunately one out of the million people struggling with speaking in public. Whether it’s a presentation or even during a rehearsal with a large group of friends or colleagues, I almost get an out-of-body experience because of the lack of oxygen.

Not long ago I have presented a case at the BAQMaR conference where I presented

“Uncovering the true Customer Value by using Survival Analysis”

From my experience I would like to share some tips to survive this day of public speaking for fellow-sufferers.

Tip 1: Go to the speakers’ dinner. Get to know the speakers. Familiar faces will calm the nerves on D-day of presentation.

If there is no such thing as a speakers’ dinner, bring a couple of friends/colleagues to support you all the way. Tell the whole world what you are going to do. Use social media or do some personal phone calls. I personally got a lot of supporting messages from colleagues and even ex-colleagues just before the moment that I had to go ‘on stage’. It helps to know that other people are crossing their fingers for you.

Tip 2: Make sure that the bartenders have noticed that you are a speaker. They will spoil you secretly with calming drinks.

If you did not succeed in getting the attention by doing for example a rehearsal at place of happening, don’t be shy to mention your role while asking for other things like directions to the guestroom.

Tip 3: Spot the one that is always nodding his/her head during your presentation. He/she is confirming what you are saying, it will give you a good feeling, getting the impression that your explanation is clear.

There is always one person in the audience who is very attentive and who is nodding all the time. Find him!

Tip 4: You definitely didn’t sign up for this on voluntary basis, remember why you are doing this. Why you are facing these horrible fears. It will give you the strength to hold on.

Is it for your work to achieve a higher salary maybe, is it to make others proud, or is it to develop yourself and to come out of your comfort zone? All reasons are perfect but you have to help yourself remembering this several times to be sure that you know why on the day of presentation.

Tip 5: Last but not least, be yourself.

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