Public Speaking – Communicate with Confidence
Five Ideas to Help Your Public Speaking
Here are some hands-on tactics you can use to overcome nervousness and to look more poised and confident in front of your audience.
Is this your your starting point . . .
Do you have these thoughts when you are preparing for a public speaking engagement?
- “Public speaking is not one of my strengths – why should I do something I’m not good at.”
- “I don’t like the spotlight.”
- “I’m naturally shy.”
- “I look nervous in front of a crowd.”
These are just some of the many laments I hear when coaching clients to become better more confident public speakers. Note that not all nervousness is bad. If you want to refine your public speaking skills, there are a few easy things you can start doing immediately to reduce your nervousness.
1. Know Your Material
This may be obvious, but it’s not always possible to know it as well as you want to with your tight schedule. However, the more you can review and practice your presentation the better off you will be with reducing nervousness.
The absolute best way to overcome your fear of public speaking and to become better at it is to practice, practice. I’m not suggesting memorizing. Rather I want you to be very familiar and confident of your main points. If pressed for time, spend a minimum of 15 minutes getting your opening and start so you are comfortable with it. People are typically the most nervous at the beginning so start confidently by having your opening and start well prepared and this will enhance the overall flow of your speech or presentation.
2. Breath Deeply
Refining and controlling your breath is something you want to do just before you get up on stage. Take three, deep belly breaths. Slowly inhale through the nose for a count of 10-to-15. Hold for 15 seconds, and then exhale through your mouth slowly, again for a count of 10-to-15. Repeat three times. This helps to calm your nerves and put you at ease before you begin. Again, if you do well at your start then this helps the entire presentation.
3. Connect with a Friendly Face (or two)
Find the friendly faces in the audience. It is a rare audience that does not have a few friendly and supportive faces. Look for the face that’s interested, smiling and nodding. This idea is all about building your confidence so that you feel comfortable and reduce your nervousness. The objective of your presentation may be to win over the audience but start with a focus on the supporters and move on to the rest when you’ve hit your stride!
4. Know That The Audience Wants You to Succeed
Keep in mind your audience wants you to succeed. We all think about ourselves when we’re presenting instead of thinking about the audience. We’re worried about forgetting something or stumbling over our words. Know well that the audience isn’t aware of what you planned to say. Know also that every single person watching you wants you to be good. The audience is eager for a strong, snappy presenter, who’s not boring. They are not looking for your faults.
5. Envision Your Success
I want you to picture your success. Everyone needs to visualize success. I’ve coached hundreds of people. Most of them have told me how nervous they are presenting. I have seen many of these presentations when the speaker claimed to be nervous and I can say with all honesty that I did not notice any nervousness and I believe that the audience did not notice as well. Therefore, picture yourself as confident, calm and composed. The audience will see you this way as well.
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