Quick Tips on Building Confidence for Public Speaking
Translating your written words into spoken ones requires more than simply reading the words off the page. Your writing is an art of its own, but so is your speaking.
Public speaking is not only an art form. It is also a muscle that requires consistent, ritualistic practice and passion. One of the major hurdles in becoming the public speaker you dream to be is building confidence.
While confidence comes naturally with building that muscle, there are other tips you can use in the meantime. Here are 5 tips on building confidence for public speaking:
Fake it ‘till you make it.
“Fake it ‘till you make it” is a myth. You won’t just become better by doing something as you could be practicing poor habits and reinforcing those. However, there are simple but very effective tricks you can use to not only make your audience feel more connected but to also channel the comfort you crave. Using open hand gestures, speaking clearly, and taking your time while speaking are all important tips in making you look comfortable on any stage or in front of any audience, even while you’re in the process of building that comfort.
Command the room.
There are 2 key ways to do this - eye contact and volume. First, you always want to maintain eye contact with your audience members throughout your speech. The goal here is to make people feel seen. This will invite them to pay closer attention to your words. The second key way is volume. You want to command the room by filling the space with the volume of your voice. You must project your voice and ensure everyone in the room can clearly hear you. Once they can hear you, it is your job to ensure they are truly listening to your message. This part comes with practice.
Practice makes progress.
Like with any skill, practice is one of the most important pieces. But how you practice is just as impactful. You want to practice like you play - give each practice presentation the full energy you would give a real presentation. Always practice as if you are in front of an actual audience. Furthermore, you do not want to practice until you get it right - you want to practice until you cannot get it wrong. The more you do this, the more you will feel your growth and build the muscle memory of the presentation. That level of preparedness will ease your nerves and allow you to focus on giving a strong speech and having fun with it.
Eliminate the fear of mistakes.
Removing the fear of failure creates more room for success. Once you have worked on all the details of your presentation, it is time to focus on the big picture. No speech is going to be perfect, especially in the beginning, but public speaking is not about perfection. It is about connecting with your audience and moving them with your message. Remember - it is your right to be on that stage and demand everyone’s attention. Your message deserves to be heard. Present yourself accordingly and let your passion for that message lead the way.
Do it your own way.
While it is helpful to get inspired by other speakers and their styles, public speaking is not about being someone else. It is about you being your complete self and blasting that to be absorbed on a larger scale. You get to guide the journey of the words floating off the page and into your audience’s brains. The more authentic you are in that process, the farther your message will travel.
Equipping yourself with the right tips and tricks will allow you to optimally transcend your words to an audience of any size. Oratory is an art form that opens a whole new door of possibilities. Just don’t forget to command the room when you walk through it.
The Theater of Marketing/Misty Megia LLC is a creative producer for high achieving leaders who want to give presentations that move people profoundly. Her mission is to bring out creative intelligence and help solidify your leadership voice through well rounded storytelling, perfecting metaphors, and technical production.