Many people would consider me a confident speaker. And, for the most part, I am. But there I times when I still get nervous before a presentation.
For example, a few years ago, I was preparing to give my first speech at a new Toastmasters club. For some reason, I had put a lot of pressure I myself to make a good impression with this presentation. My anxiety was so high, I was feeling faint and seeing purple at the edges of my vision.
Even though I’ve been speaking for years, I still experience speaking anxiety from time to time.
But I get up before groups and speak anyway. Here are some tips that will help you be a more confident speaker, and not let nerves stop you in your tracks.
How To Appear to Be a Confident Speaker
Like me, you might not feel very confident before stepping on the platform, but you don’t have to show it to the audience. Here are some of the things you can do to appear calm, cool and collected even when you feel like screaming and running away.
- Smile–A smile can ease the tension in a room and everybody who is in it including you. In fact, smiling has been shown to positively change your body chemistry.
- Catch Their Eye–When talking, make sure to catch a person’s eye and maintain the contact for a moment or two, while you make a point. When you move on to the next point, meet someone else’s eye. Eye contact gives your audience a sense that you know your subject. And, focusing on one person at a time can reduce speaking anxiety.
- Get Excited–When you’re energetic about a subject, it lets the recipients know you know what you’re talking about and are confident to share it with them. Use your anxiety to fuel your speaking rather than stop it.
Confidently Add Humor to Your Presentation
When you laugh, everyone will join in. It sounds odd, but that’s the reality. If you can laugh about something (even if it’s bad for you), it eases the audience and makes them sit up, even more, to listen to what you have to say. Here are some tips for adding humor to a speech.
- Share Clean Jokes–Put the audience at ease by sharing a good, clean joke. (Knock Knock ones are fine, but something more if you can do it). Be sure that the joke is related to what you are talking about. You don’t want to tell jokes just to tell jokes.
- Joke About Yourself–When you can joke about something that concerns you, you come across as being human. The audience will respect you for it.
- Zig When They Think You’re Going to Zag–A tried and true humorous technique is to go where they least expect it. For example, during a speech about domestic violence, I mentioned that after three years, I was considering divorcing my abusive husband…but I gave it another 10 years to make sure. This is funny because of the exaggeration and the unexpected turn.
Being Prepared Makes You a More Confident Speaker
The best way to be prepared for a speech is to talk about what you know. This way you are less likely to be derailed or forget something. Then add in these three tips and you’ll feel much more confident on the stage.
- Create an opening, close and outline for the body–Commit these three elements to memory, and you can fill in the rest as you go.
- Rehearse your speech–Be sure to practice your speech multiple times to ensure you haven’t missed any important information. Record these practice sessions so that you can evaluate your delivery and make improvements, too.
- Practice some more in front of people–Gather some friends and family around to practice your speech with. How easy or difficult is it for them to understand what you’re talking about?
Experiencing some anxiety before a speech is common. Don’t let it stop you from achieving your goals. Work on your confident speaker skills starting today.
Would You Like Me to Help You Improve Your Speaking?
Would you like to be a more confident speaker?
Would you like to master foundational speaking skills?
Would you develop more effective presentations?
Then keep reading.
This summer, I invite you to join an intrepid group of students as they begin their Public Speaking Superhero’s Journey.
You will learn:
- How to face your fears and overcome speaking anxiety.
- How to bring passion, authenticity, and confidence to your presentations.
- How to develop an effective speech with clear organization, engaging stories and a touch of humor, when appropriate.
And so much more! I will show you how to unleash your inner speaking superpowers, how to develop an effective presentation and how to deliver it with ease.
Take Your First Step to Improving Your Speaking Skills
As part of this Founding member group, you’ll gain lifetime access to a special learning portal, a private Facebook group, and direct access to me. Future groups will not have as much personalized guidance.
This program is not for everyone, however. You need to
- Be prepared to face your fears and push your boundaries.
- Attend weekly group meetings (held on weekends to accommodate those who have day jobs).
- Commit to completing assignments in a timely manner.
- Provide feedback so that the program can give you better results.
You will also need to be able to invest in yourself and your project. Although this first group will receive a reduced fee for the program, it is still not inexpensive. In addition, the Founding Members’ group is open to the first 20 people who are accepted into the program. After those seats are filled, you can be put on a waiting list for next year’s group.
If you have heard your speaking call to adventure and are ready to start your quest to become a confident speaker, I invite you to set up your application call today. You don’t need to do this alone. Let me guide you on your quest.
NOTE: To make sure that you are serious about this opportunity, there is a $25 fee for scheduling this appointment. If you are accepted into the program, that fee will be applied to your total tuition. If this is not a good fit for you, I will happily refund the fee. If you miss your appointment, your fee is forfeit.