3 Lessons From Brittany Richmond on Overcoming Anxiety as a Speaker

Do you ever face anxiety about speaking?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s a problem many speakers face, and none are more acquainted with it than Brittany Richmond, a public speaker and mental health expert. This week, she sat down with Grant Baldwin on The Speaker Lab Podcast to share her insight and experiences. Here are the top 3 takeaways from their conversation:

Align Yourself with Your Purpose

Anxiety can be a huge problem for speakers. Brittany says that the best way to combat it is to align yourself with your purpose. By having clarity about the problem you’re solving and who you’re speaking to, your fear and anxiety will transform as you realize that it’s about your audience, not you.

Target the Audience You Can Relate To

While you may speak to a variety of audience types throughout your speaking career, many speakers have a certain demographic that they primarily focus on. For example, Brittany battled through anxiety during her teenage years, and now she primarily speaks to teenagers about mental health.

Brittany emphasizes that you’re best equipped to serve the person you once were. By drawing on her previous experiences, she can better relate to her audience and be more equipped to solve their problems, leading to a more lasting impression.

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Be Vulnerable Without Oversharing

As a mental health specialist, Brittany is uniquely aware of the balance between being vulnerable without turning your talk into a personal therapy session. With her extensive personal experience, it would be easy for her to simply recount her story for 45 minutes, but that wouldn’t exactly be helpful for her audience.

Brittany says that it’s important not to lose sight of “So what?” and the “Now what?” for your audience. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use your personal experiences though. Just the opposite – your personal experiences are valuable for relating to your audience and getting your point across. But those experiences should always tie into your broader point.

Ready to hear more? Check out Episode 453 of The Speaker Lab podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


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