Becoming Unstoppable at Public Speaking
Public speaking terrifies so many people. And today I want to tell you how you can get through it and become a master of it.
Now, I told you I don't want you to struggle with public speaking, because recently we saw something in the show Succession. It was when Roman was having to give the eulogy for his father. I'm not here to be heartless and say it's easy to talk in one of those moments. It's not.
But the reality is, public speaking oftentimes is in high pressure moments. It might be a funeral, or it might be facing a bunch of investors who are going to decide to either write you a check or your company is going to fail. High stakes, high pressure, and you're going to be feeling those emotions.
I tried 102 jury trials. I was in a courtroom 200 days.
A year for seven years I competed in exemplary speaking and debate. I competed in mock trial in law school, and I also coached the national mock trial team at SMB Law School. I'm going to teach you exactly what I had those students do and what I learned throughout all of my experience. So, step one, you need to do an exercise that Tim Ferriss first came up with called fear setting.
I want you to close your eyes.
And I want you to visualize everything going wrong in whatever setting that is that you're about to speak in.
You have to put yourself in that position. See it, feel it, believe it. And then you're going to open your eyes.
Humans are most terrified of the unknown. So when we can make the worst outcome real, now we know what it feels like and also how to prevent it. It just means, well, if we know the worst case is all of these things went wrong, well, now I just know how to prepare ahead of time to make sure it doesn't happen.
You saw Roman in the show. He was preparing, but he was preparing like everything was going right, but that doesn't actually work. You have to understand what the worst case is. Now, once you do that, step two is to do the opposite. And this is to vision out the perfect outcome. Everything goes right.
Because when you feel that success in your brain, now you know what it feels like. And you can replicate that inside of the meeting. This is a little bit like the moment in The Last Samurai when Tom Cruise was getting ready to battle all of the soldiers who are trying to keep him from reaching Katsamoto.
And he sees in his head before he starts fighting, and when he then fights him, every move, he's already seen that's what you want to do as well. Step three is this. You need to learn what anchors you before you speak.
I used to use a playlist from Rick Ross. For whatever reason, this playlist of these songs from Rick Ross made me feel unstoppable. And the moment I would listen to it, my brain triggered.
Robbie is in unstoppable mode, and you can do the same thing. It might be a different musician. It may not be music at all, and that's okay. Some people anchor by exercising some meditate, breath work. That's great too.
All we want you to be able to do is anchor in that moment before and get yourself ready to step on stage. So once you understand that, the final piece to this is understanding that when you're feeling that energy, you're going to feel it in your stomach, in your hands, in your head. You have to think about it as energy, not nerves, meaning excitement and opportunity in front of you. And when you do that, what you teach yourself is, okay, let's slow down and let's use our breathing and our pauses intentionally so we can stay in control.
Because here's what happens. And we saw this in that episode of Succession as well. It's the first 30 seconds where things go off the rails and the speaker doesn't know how to get it back. In that first 30 seconds, you're going to get this flood, this fire hose on you of just all of the emotions, and you're going to be feeling it in an intense way.
And what you have to be able to do is breathe and stay calm and slow down. Because what you're going to realize is once you're through those first 30 seconds, everything falls into place. When you do this, you're going to be blown away at the fact that public speaking now is not a negative for you, but a positive. Because the people that can stand up and deliver a message in the toughest times are the ones that we look towards as leaders.
They're the ones that we want to put our confidence behind.
In fact, in that scene of Succession, Roman completely destroyed his chance of stepping up as CEO in that moment. And Kendall instead got up there and delivered. And Kendall, even though ultimately he would not become CEO, put himself in a position where he was the best bet to be the CEO, because in the moment of highest emotion, he stepped up as a leader and delivered.
The eulogy that's what you want to be able to do as well is to take on that moment and say, I can handle this. This is my time. And when you do that, public speaking becomes a strength. It becomes a skill that people turn to you towards.
And after all, if you're a founder or an entrepreneur, isn't that what you want?
The biggest moments, people coming to you and saying, deliver. Here it is. Here's your moment to shine. Go out there and win the day.
That's what this is all about.
For an even deeper dive, check out this post. It's going to really help you understand exactly what you just read about.
A former trial lawyer and prosecutor in Dallas, TX, Robbie trains founders to become world-class storytellers and venture capital fundraisers.
In barely two years, he's helped founders raise $575,000,000 of venture capital