May 24th saw the first FBI Members ' event held in London, with guest speaker Jo Hind channeling her Media and Marketing experience gained from a career spanning TV and Digital for big hitters including AOL and Google into an entertaining and inspiring presentation titled 'Why women should speak in public, and how to do it '.
Whilst women currently make up only 10% of all speakers at industry conferences and seminars, the presentation could just as easily have been titled 'Why YOU should speak in public ' since a recent survey of our biggest fears revealed public speaking ranked higher than death!
So, for those mortally afraid of it, thinking of volunteering for it, or already breaking into a sweat as their presentation looms, here are our reasons why you should give it a go - and some top tips on how to pull it off with aplomb.
In any industry it pays to stand out for the right reasons. Speaking at events, taking part in panels or working groups and presenting seminars gets you noticed, there are no two ways about it. Not only will you build your profile, you 'll also build the profile of your business or employer, which will open up new opportunities. Public speaking events are also great places to meet new professional contacts and expand your network, and it could even open up opportunities for career advancement.
Public speaking also gives you the opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge and experience with your audience. The audience is there to learn from you, they are on your side so don 't be scared of them. This will give you confidence not just in giving the talk, but in future scenarios where you are required to give an impromptu speech or lead a group.
But how do you do this when your palms are sweaty, your stomach is churning and you can 't for the life of you remember the next thing you wanted to say?