How to Exude Confidence When Speaking Publicly.
Public speaking can be one person’s dream, and another’s nightmare. But what does it take to be able to present effectively, while maintaining your audience’s attention, and ultimately your own nerve? Today we look at 4 simple ways to portray confidence when you are speaking publicly.
The prospect of giving a presentation to an audience can be highly daunting. The large majority of people will dread public speaking to the point of being terrified by the thought. Appreciating this general fear can be the first step to improving and ultimately portraying self-confidence when delivering a speech. The audience appreciates that the speaker is doing a task that most of them would not like to be doing. By employing the odd hack or two to help portray yourself as a confident speaker you can win over their respect and their attention from the start.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Public speaking is no different to many other aspects of life. Outcomes are greatly enhanced by being as prepared as possible. Make sure you are confident in the content of the presentation as this will come across to the listener. Double-check facts and figures. If they perceive that the speaker clearly knows their stuff then their confidence in its authority will increase, as will their willingness to invest the time to listen. Once satisfied with the content of the speech, practise, practise and practise some more. Finding a quiet place to read the speech over will help find the right tone. Rehearsing the speech will familiarise you with the process and with hearing your own voice out loud.
Making A Good First Impression
Look confident when entering the room and taking up position to give the presentation. Do not slouch or shuffle across the room. A dishevelled look with clothes not tucked in, shoes not cleaned or hair all over the place will not give an air of authority. As well as settling the audience that they can trust this smart person striding confidently to their place, the boost in self esteem for the speaker is useful at this stage. An important hack is engaging the audience right from the start of the speech. Whether it’s a joke, an amusing anecdote or an opening line which impacts on the subject at hand, an effective hook will get the audience on board straight away.
Maintaining a Confident Air
A relaxed speaker will produce a relaxed audience. If the audience senses anxiety and nerves then they too will get nervous about the forthcoming speech. By taking a brief moment before beginning the speech to take a few deep breaths and relax, the chances of delivering a calm talk are improved. Nerves can make a speaker hurry their words, mumble and become unintelligible to the listeners. By rehearsing breathing techniques ahead of the speech and employing them on the day, this will help portray confidence. Smile at the audience even before starting the speech, make it look that you enjoy this environment and are experienced within it. Stand tall and do not start to slouch. By retaining good posture and delivering in a calm, strong voice an air of authority is maintained.
The fear of public speaking is largely derived from the fear of failure or ridicule. A lack of self-esteem can convince any potential speaker that they are not good enough, that anyone in the audience would probably be better. In sport visualisation is a big part of the preparation, envisaging the desired outcome. By replacing all the doom and gloom scenarios as they enter the mind with a positive outlook on how well it could go helps redress the balance. Go through the speech and the event in your mind, see it at its best outcome, how well it could in fact go instead of focussing on any possible failures. Be prepared again, just in case mistakes are made. A rehearsed set line after a mistake or stumble will show a human side that an audience can respond to. Also look on the event as an opportunity to develop and learn new skills, to advance a career.
Not many people are able to get up and produce an engaging and authoritative speech to a room without fretting over it for long periods. However by using these tips to help portray self belief a prospective speaker can look to successfully deliver their speech and engage a listening audience in a manner they can look back on with some pride.
Jack Purdie @ImJackPurdie lives in Southampton and is on a slow but steady mission to try and find a way to share some of the random, and sometimes interesting, thoughts that go through his head.
Working heavily in the event industry, but also behind a health and nutrition startup, Jack is known to always be up to something, with many projects bubbling away.