If you had to describe how you feel about public speaking in one word, what would it be? Uncomfortable, nervous, terrified? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. It’s a well-known fact that many people’s greatest fear is standing up in front of a crowd of people and having to speak.
So, of course the first question that many aspiring public speakers ask is…
‘How do I develop my confidence?’
Here is where we let you in on some very important secrets…
If you’re waiting for the day those feelings of nervousness to suddenly disappear, it will never happen. Being nervous is normal. Even the most experienced of public speakers feels nervous before a presentation.
Embrace those feelings of nervousness and breathe deeply. Breathing deeply helps to lower your heart rate.
Tell yourself, “I’m not nervous, I’m excited!”
Confidence begins with bravery; it doesn’t magically appear one morning when you wake up. Confidence develops over time. The braver you are the more confidence you will develop.
Public speaking is like bungee jumping. The longer you stand on the edge of the platform contemplating the jump, the more terrifying it becomes and the less likely you are to do it.
You need to take that jump to ‘fly’. The same is true for public speaking. Don’t think about it, just do it!
When driving to a destination you have never been to before you would always set your GPS and find the best route before beginning your journey, and so it is with public speaking.
50% of the Success of your presentation is determined before it even begins. How well have you researched your topic and your audience? Have you created a clear pathway to your objective? How will you order and sequence your ideas? What important language will you need? What techniques and gimmicks will you use to engage and ‘wow’ your audience? What questions might be asked?
Preparing well is like having a tool box on hand, no need to worry. Whatever happens you will be ready to handle it.
Knowing that you are ready to face whatever might come is a fantastic confidence booster.
Take time before your presentation to mingle with your audience and introduce yourself. Making a personal connection with members of the audience helps you to see them as individuals and not an ‘army of strangers’.
It also helps to build rapport, having your audience like you before you even begin your presentation is a major bonus!
Some of the world’s greatest public speakers are actually introverts in normal life. It’s a bit like Clarke Kent transforming into Superman or an actor playing a role.
Everyone has the ability to be a fantastic speaker, you just need to visualize who you want to be in order to become it.
When you’re speaking, focus on your audience the same way as you would if you were having a conversation. Don’t just glance at them, LOOK and LOCK. Speak to them as real people, engage them individually. Don’t focus on yourself Do I look ok? Are they liking me? All of these kinds of thoughts are distractors that will make you lose focus and allow those feelings of nervousness to creep in.
The faster you run the more likely you are to trip and fall. The faster you drive the more likely you are to crash. This applies to speaking as well. The faster you speak the less control you have and the more nervous you will become.
Practice chunking before your presentation, and during your presentation take your time. Breathe and pause when you need to.
Look like the confident speaker you want to be. What does confident speaker look like? A confident speaker stands firmly with their feet connected to the ground. Their shoulders are back and their head is high. They are smiling ready to embrace their audience.
Look it to become it!
Don’t expect to be perfect, no one ever is. Mistakes are normal and are part of the development process. Each mistake you make will help you to become a better public speaker in the future.
Everyone will tell you to practice, practice and then practice some more, but practicing the right way is important. Don’t practice with notes or read from your slides, get rid of those false safety nets. Notes make a speaker dependent and don’t help to build confidence. Don’t try to memorize prepared text, when you’re trying to remember word for word what you want to say you won’t be able to engage with your audience.
Practice without false safety devices!

Presentation Skills E-Book

Improve your presentation skills through our presentation books. Read tips on for example presenting a message effectively, engaging with an audience and using your voice. It is never too late to become an excellent communicator.

[ctct form="17015"]

Comments

comments