5 Ways to Speak Confidently in Public
Posted in: CAREER
Ever wonder how speakers talk confidently in public? Read on below:
Nerves are probably the most damaging problem that prevents a clear delivery of an otherwise promising speech. The key, then, is to not be nervous. How can you do this? Practice makes perfect, we will look into this in further detail later. Take a few deep breaths before your speech and do something that you know will calm you down such as: prayer, talking to a friend, a brief meditation exercise. It doesn’t really matter what it is but it has to work for you. Don’t surround yourself with agitated and anxious people before your speech. Moreover, people often get nervous because they think that the audience is their enemy, when in fact the audience is always your friend. Audience members aren’t typically sitting and waiting for the speech-giver to fail. They will more often than not silently root for the presenter. They want them to succeed. It is very important that you don’t get flustered. Take your time, stop to gather your thoughts mid-speech if necessary, slow down your speech and calm down.
Make eye contact
Making eye contact is critical in establishing a report and trust with your audience. Speakers who do not make eye contact can come off as shady, or unsure of themselves which is the exact opposite of what you want to portray. Some speakers make general eye contact with the audience, looking past their audience or above their heads and not at anyone in particular. While this counts as eye contact, it is not effective. A better method would be to make direct, meaningful eye contact with various people in the audience, one person at a time. Don’t stare at them; just briefly connect with your eyes to show authenticity.
Use hand gestures and visual aids
Hand gestures make your speech more dynamic and can show that you are an expert on the subject if used effectively. Use appropriate hand gestures to emphasize certain words or explain concepts. Visual aids can also help to better illustrate your arguments. With both hand gestures and visual aids, however, it is vital not to go over the top. Don’t be too flamboyant with your hand gestures. Likewise, your visuals should aid your presentation and not be the main focus. When it comes to hand gestures and visual aids, less can definitely be more.
Believe in Yourself
Confident speakers believe in themselves, their ability to transmit a message and the importance of their message. They are convinced by what they have to say and, even if they aren’t, they fake it ‘til they make it. Stand tall and proud with shoulders back, head held high and speak with authority. Your audience will tend to believe whatever you believe about yourself, whether that is good or bad.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like the old proverb goes: practice makes perfect. Practice, practice, practice. Better yet, memorize your speech, so that you will be able to make eye contact with other people in a more natural way. It is helpful to practice in front of a mirror so that you can see your facial expressions and gestures. Some people find it helpful to practice in front of friends or family who can provide real time feedback and constructive criticism. Other people practice in front of stuffed animals. Recording yourself speaking and replaying it may also help you practice. What’s important here is not so much the form as is the end result, to achieve this you need to practice your speech until it’s fully polished.
MYC Writer Simone M. SamuelsSubscribe to UpdatesRelated Articles