The Confidence Crisis in Public Speaking
Confidence is a critical factor to success. It gives you the power to speak confidently and powerfully in front of your audience. Public speaking, however, is a skill that can be extremely daunting for many people, and it’s not always easy to build up your confidence levels.
7 Ways to Build Confidence in Public Speaking
- Practice Your Materials. Practicing for a big presentation is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to get your thoughts across during the event. You want to practice speaking loudly enough and smoothly enough so that people in the back of the room can hear you clearly while also feeling engaged. It’s equally important to make sure you’re not too loud and shrill because this will make it hard for some people to listen and may cause anxiety or anger.
- Engage the audience with eye contact and body language. Eye contact and body language are the keys to engaging the audience. When you smile at someone, they smile back. When you shake their hand, they shake your hand back. And when you look them in the eye, they look back at you. People tend to follow what other people do, so if we don’t engage with the audience, they won’t engage with us, which means we will lose their attention, which means we will lose control of the room.
- Manage your nerves. Speech anxiety, also known as Glossophobia, can feel like a significant obstacle for some people. It’s understandable to have some nerves before giving a speech, but they don’t need to dominate your thoughts.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses would help you prepare for any situation that may happen when you go on stage. Public speaking anxiety is a common issue for many people, but learning what your audience expects from you is a great way to help reduce the adverse effects of this feeling. Whether it is being confident in what you have to say or know how much time has left before your turn, understanding what your audience expects will help with the anxiety caused by public speaking.
- Don’t be afraid to pause. The idea of pauses is an integral part of any speech, and it’s essential to let the audience know that you’re not just talking but listening to them. However, sometimes it can be difficult for speakers to pause in time and then resume without losing momentum. Some people think pausing signifies weakness; others fear pausing implies they are unprepared when they aren’t. At many points in their lives, listeners need to take a break from what is spoken about to hear what is said.
- Dress to Impress. Dress according to the event. Sometimes, you dress differently to draw attention but always start with dressing up to impress. Dressing well not only shows professionalism but also makes you feel good. When you feel good, you feel confident.
- Network. To some, ‘network’ sounds like a tall order to fulfill. In general, networking is like mingling, get-to-know sessions. Before and after the speech, spend some time getting to know the audience. If before the speech is when you need to prepare yourself, then meet the audience after the speech. Getting to know your audience builds your network and trains you in building your confidence. Over time, you will see that you approach and speak to people better.
How to Methodically Increase Your Confidence Over Time
Confidence is something that can be built over time. We all know that it takes time to build confidence, and there are no shortcuts to achieving the desired result.
Now that you have discovered the different ways of building confidence, the next question is, how do we build it over time, so it is sustainable? The first step is preparation, which includes preparing for the presentation by completing practice tests, making sure you have the suitable materials, practicing your public speaking skills, and preparing for any challenges in front of you. The second step is preparation for your next presentation through meditation and breathing exercises before presenting your ideas or sharing your knowledge with others. Finally, preparation for future presentations entails keeping a list of the things that went well in previous presentations and building on them to improve your skillset further!
The Keys of Engaging an Audience and Captivating their Attention
The key to engaging an audience is to provide them with a relevant narrative. With this in mind, self-care speeches’ speech etiquette will be different from that of other speeches.
Speakers need to tell a story when they speak about their own experiences, and the story should be personal and relatable so that it can connect with the audience and elicit empathy and care in them.
Self-care speeches range from sharing our struggles with mental health to speaking about how we’ve overcome challenges in our lives and what we believe we’ve learned from them. The key is telling a story that connects with the audience and makes them feel like they are listening to someone who has been through something similar or understands their struggles or life goals.
Confidence is your ability to feel self-assured while confidently making decisions, facing challenges, and achieving goals. It helps us navigate our biggest obstacles and strengthens our relationships with others by helping us communicate with others. With the different ways of building confidence presented to you, I am confident you will build confidence.