5 Top Tips for Public Speaking Confidence
Recent surveys have shown that the number one fear of the majority of people is having to stand up and speak in public. If that applies to you then it's unfortunate because I have to tell you that it is virtually certain that at some point in your life you will have to do it. It might be a Best Man's speech at a wedding, a business presentation, or just a brief thank you speech, but it will happen.
You were not born with a fear of public speaking though! It is just that by your experiences and the things you have been told through your childhood, at school and college, and even in your work environment, that you have effectively learned to be afraid.
Well the good news is that you can just as easily "unlearn" your fear of speaking in public. You just have to learn how and the following five tips will set you off along the right path:
Don't worry about being nervous.
That sounds almost like a contradiction in terms but it does make sense. The fact is that even professional speakers get nervous it's just that their nerves don't show. And when you are speaking you need to understand that up to 90% of your nerves are simply not visible to your audience. So just try to make sure that any possible signs of nerves are overcome, for instance be careful what you do with your hands and don't keep hopping from one foot to the other. Try watching other speakers to see what nerves they show and think about how they can be avoided.
Control your breathing.
When you are in conversation you naturally take pauses and ensure that your breathing is regular. So do the same when you are speaking publicly - it will help you to keep calm and stop you from talking too quickly. The best speakers use pauses to very good effect.
Never try to memorize your speech word for word.
It is quite acceptable to use notes and other prompts to ensure you remember the key points and that your talk flows smoothly. Always ensure though that they act only as your cues and don't just stand there and read word for word what you have written.
Always speak on subjects you know about and understand.
Do your research thoroughly. Become the expert on the topic and you will be assured that you know more than your audience. When preparing your speech, aim to gather far more information than you will actually need. Then you can edit it and end up with subject matter that really will interest your audience. That is sure to boost your self-confidence.
Avoid asking yourself negative questions about how you will perform and thoughts about what could go wrong. Instead focus on the positive aspects like what you know about the subject, what your audience is going to get from the talk and on your own skills and knowledge that means that you are the one they want to listen to. In the days running up to your talk visualize yourself giving a confident and interesting talk that ends with a great ovation .Sense the pleasure you get and use that positive energy to ensure you have the right attitude when the time for your talk arrives.
Speaking in public with confidence is a skill, and it is one that you can learn. So follow these tips and take every opportunity you get to further develop your expertise. Take the right steps, develop the right attitude and very soon public speaking will hold no fears for you.
Vijaya :) 24th December 2007 From United States, Sunnyvale