Public speaking is a skill that not everyone can do well. Most people are actually afraid of speaking before large groups of people. However, if your job entails it or you need to deliver important information, you must learn to gain confidence for public speaking. You may not be the most eloquent speaker, but if you deliver your speech with confidence and energy, your audience will be captivated! Here’s how to gain confidence for public speaking.
- Be prepared. If you don’t know what your speech is about and whom you are speaking to, it can be a nightmare. When you agree to speak in public, you must have a working knowledge of who will be in attendance and what is expected of you, so you can tailor your speech to meet those needs. Once you have prepared, be sure that you have everything you need before you walk onstage. Use the bathroom or take a sip of water if you need to. If you know you have everything you need, you won’t be rattled and you’ll feel better about being in front of everyone.
- Practice your speech. Unless you’re an expert at extemporaneous speaking, prepare your speech beforehand. Stand in front of a mirror and say your piece so that it becomes second nature to you. Mark you page with the proper pauses, or write down phonetically difficult words to say. You can practice your speech in front of your spouse or a trusted friend to ask for feedback on your delivery.
- Take public speaking lessons. One of the best ways to hone your public speaking skills is to take seminars to help you improve your skills. You can join Toastmasters International, an organization dedicated to helping members develop their public speaking skills. Check any classes or seminars offered at your local community college. Like any other skill, public speaking can be learned and mastered.
- Visualize your success. Before you walk onstage, do some mental exercises to help you see yourself deliver your best. Imagine the audience captivated by your every word. See yourself being confident, funny and enthralling the audience. You must believe in yourself to become believable to others. Be mentally prepared and give yourself a little pep talk before you speak.
- Focus on what you have to say. So what if there are 500 people in the room you need to address? So what if your Powerpoint Presentation didn’t make it in time? Forget your gadgets and visual aid. What is important is the content of your speech. Say your speech and deliver your message with authority and confidence. People are there to hear what you have to say, so say it well. Know that your message is important and bears hearing.
- Look your best. Pay attention to your appearance. If you know you look great in your power suit and you feel confident in your high heels, you’ll convey this aura to your audience. Since you’re already judged the minute you walk onstage, give your audience something to feast their eyes on.
The more you have exposure speaking in front of other people, the more natural it will become. Keep practicing and take whatever opportunity you can get to talk in front of others. Soon, you’ll have all the confidence you need to become a master at public speaking.