How To Speak Confidently In Public
How to speak confidently in public
At a point in everyone's life, they might be a necessity to stand before a large audience to speak on a subject or a debate. This can be the most scary part of one's life, standing before a large audience to deliver a lecture, speech etc. For a starter, it create an adrenaline rush , fear and anxiety grips the mind, the thought of succeeding with your speech or failing to deliver up to standard create more fear and anxiety. To some, it might be their first time addressing the public on issues. Starring at the audience and the audience waiting in anticipation to hear what you have to say can make you freeze on stage.
One of the most difficult moment is that period the moderator hands over the microphone to you. You're left alone with what you have upstairs and your paper. This can make you to perspire under cold air conditioned room. You begin to feel hotness , but this time it's from within. All this are product of that popular term in public speaking; Stage Fright.
Stage Fright is what I described above and it's due to lack of confidence in oneself, feeling of inadequacy and low self esteem. In this article, my aim is to help you develop your self confidence and speak like an orator whenever the opportunity present itself.
Have a Topic and do your study very well.
The first step in conquering fear on stage is to have topic to discuss. You can't be ambiguous about what to say before mounting the stage. Careful selection of topic and painstakingly study it can guarantee that you won't freeze or go blank on stage. When your topic is well digested to such an extent that you can speak on it without a book or memory guide, it makes you optimistic and dispels fear before you mount the stage. One of the major causes of freezing or going blank on stage is due to lack of adequate preparation. The first 90 seconds reveals how deep you're knowledgeable about the topic. That's when you can grab the people's attention. Having a sufficient knowledge about your topic gives you boldness on stage. Never go on stage without adequate preparation.
Don't be Self Conscious
Being self conscious takes your attention from the topic to yourself. You begin to wonder if you are worth listening to, worried about how you are going to perform, what would the people think about you. You would be scared of failure even without starting yet. But it's not about you, it's about your well researched topic that people are willing to. Projecting your topic above yourself would diminish your self consciousness because it's not about you or your personality, your educational background or societal grade, but it's about the truth embedded in the topic. That Truth is greater than anyone in the auditorium irrespective of age, financial status and academic or political class. That should be your focus. You're just a medium that conveys that truth. Taking your own focus from yourself to your topic reduces your self awareness and minimize negative feelings like fear and anxiety.
Maintain a positive body language and intonation
According to a research, making a lasting impression is tied directly to the body language and manner of articulation. A good body posture gives a notion of confidence and boldness, it also reveals how much you believe in your topic and how trustworthy it is. Great men and women who are astute communicator exudes a level of confidence in their body language. They are not tensed, nervous in appearance and timid. They stand tall and straight , maintaining eye contact while speaking to their audience. Do not bent sideways or pace too fast, maintain eye contact with your audience and don't look elsewhere, gesticulate when necessary to explain your point better but don't over gesticulate, it shows you are not cultured. Ensure to start speaking when you are comfortable and have everything in place. Your body language reveals alot about you, so by all means maintain a positive body language. Remember to take a deep breath, relax and start in a quiet conversational tone as if you are talking to a large group of friends. It may not be simple at first but with practise you get better day after day.
Assume leadership over your Audience
In public speaking, you assume a leadership position in your mind over your Audience. Perceive yourself as a leader who's out to give valuable content to his followers ( in this case your audience) . Your audience might be way higher than you in status and class, but the truth you are speaking about is way more higher than both you and your audience. In facing your audience, pause a moment and at look them, make sure you give humorous but harmless statement intermittently. This shows your confidence and increase your gusto.
Practice, practice and practice
The saying , " practice makes perfect" is very true in public speaking. No orator got it right the first attempt, it's continuous practice that dispels fear and build your confidence. Before going for any presentation, practice it over and over again within your closet or your family members, criticise yourself and take corrections. You can stand before a mirror and talk as if you are talking to a live audience, In that way you check your posture, and correct yourself. No tips or trick will make you a better public speaker other than frequent practice. Do not give up whenever you fail on stage, your next trial will surely be better than the previous ones. You get better by practice.
The best way to conquer fear is to do that which we are afraid of. If you are scared of public speaking, then begin to kill that fear by speaking in public. You can start from your little cycle , your classmate, your religious gatherings etc. Just ensure you continue to seize every opportunity that present itself to speak. You will get better along the line.
In conclusion, by all means apply the content of this article and seek to develop your self the more. The Cardinal point is continuous practice. Keep practicing until you get better. By all means avoid the use of " Ah, em... Hmm" in your speech. It shows you don't know what you are saying. Do not forget to go on stage with your memory aid, like a little piece of jotter containing your key points. There is a saying that , the faintest pencil is a better memory than the best brain". It will help you to recollect your points should you go blank on stage.