ICYMI: 5 Tips to Rock Public Speaking featuring Val Head

Propelle Presents: Jitters Be Gone! In case you missed Thursday's live chat with Val Head—designer and consultant, speaker, and host of the Ladies in Tech podcast—we thought we'd give you a little recap.

A lot of women entrepreneurs we speak with—in our Mastermind Group, our online Facebook community, and at our Networking Happy Hours—share their fears about public speaking. And while some entrepreneurs don’t bat an eye about getting up in front of a crowd, most are terrified of getting on stage.

If public speaking is such a dreaded activity, why on earth would you want to put yourself out there and speak?!

According to Val, public speaking:

  • allows you to share your ideas with the world.
  • makes you better at doing what you do, and helps to position you as an expert in your field.
  • opens up all sorts of opportunities and connections for you.

We also asked Val to share her thoughts on why people get so nervous when the get on stage.

  • Being on stage or in front of a crowd is unnatural!
  • We often feel like we have to have all the answers or be completely perfect on stage.
  • We feel like we don’t have anything valuable to share, that or we aren’t expert enough or smart enough to be presenting.


So, let’s get to the nitty gritty and nip those nerves in the bud.

Here are some tips to help put the nerves in their place so you can get out there and share your story / knowledge:

  1. Practice makes perfect. Rehearsing works really for most people. Getting the content down in your head so it’s almost reflex. Not memorizing word for word though.
  2. Remember that the audience wants you to succeed. They’re on your side! They want to see you do well.
  3. Get out of your head. We’ve heard some really interesting tricks from the guests on our show. A lot of them center around taking your mind off your nervousness.
  4. Go light on the speaker notes. Having just a few words here and there to remind you of important points can be helpful.
  5. Start small! Check out local meet ups, lightning talks, smaller groups or panels. These are great places to grow your confidence and get some practice in.


About Val:

Val Head

Val Head is a designer and consultant based in Philadelphia. Her work ranges from projects on the web to interactive installations to print. She is the author of The Pocket Guide to CSS Animations from Five Simple Steps and CSS Animations on Lynda.com.

You can find her on stage speaking at events like An Event Apart and encouraging others to do the same as the co-host of the Ladies in Tech podcast. She’s on the Future Insights advisory board, founded the popular Web Design Day conference, and leads workshops around the world on animation for the web and creative coding.

How to connect with Val:

Site: valhead.com Twitter: @vlh Dribbble: dribbble.com/valhead CodePen: codepen.io/valhead Instagram: instagram.com/vlh