Ever wondered what it feels like to command a room filled with people just with the way you speak? How to Become a Confident Public Speaker ? No, it’s not a gift (in case you are wondering); rather, it takes practice and time for you to master the art of public speaking. This simply means that you also can learn to excel at public speaking.
So, assuming that you’re here looking for ways to grow into a confident public speaker, and be able to impress your crowds along with it, then you have come to the right place.
Just sit back, relax and read through the easy to follow tips that are now being provided for you to help in your ambition of becoming a confident public speaker and deliver memorable speeches to your audience.
Interesting enough, a confident public speaker is often time perceived as a leader; people become naturally drawn to your presence in an audience. You must, however, bear in mind that this does not take much, a simple embodiment of the right body language and proper accentuation, the ability to communicate are all key and vital elements attributed to a dependable public speaker.
Notwithstanding, most people not accustomed to the various simple tactics on how to speak in public often time view the art as a strenuous one, requiring a great deal of energy and time. The trick, however, lies in making it a habit. Yes, a habit; the more you speak in public, the better you get.
What does it mean to be a Confident Public Speaker?
According to Psychology Today’s website, confidence can be defined in the following manner:
Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed. Striking a healthy balance between too much and too little confidence can be challenging. Too much and you can come off as cocky and stumble into unforeseen obstacles when you overestimate your own abilities or fail to complete projects on deadline because you underestimate the time and effort they require. At the same time, having too little confidence can prevent you from taking risks and seizing opportunities—in school, at work, in your social life, and beyond. Projecting just enough confidence helps you gain credibility, make a good lasting first impression, deal with pressure and meet personal and professional challenges head-on.
I want you to understand that the belief and trust in one’s self-ability to do something is not baseless optimism. That’s not what I want you to take from this;
You’ve got to do some homework and prep yourself first, and then your confidence can be reliable enough to impress those who will listen to you speak.
Do not focus too much on what you couldn’t master before the presentation/speech, that in itself will make you stumble and perform poorly on stage.
No one knows everything, but everybody knows something worth sharing, so focus on what you know and deliver to the audience with all your energy and passion behind every word.
Now, moving on to the actual homework you need to do before every presentation in order to be confident enough to deliver and impress your public, please check the tips below:
Tips for the Aspirant in becoming a Confident Public Speaker
Let me go with cliché first: In order to improve yourself as a public speaker, control your emotions, exude confidence in front of your audience, and deliver memorable oral presentations you must learn the right skills that work best for you (your personality counts), practice, and practice some more.
After all, there are those of us who started as introverts, always afraid and not really sure what to say in front of others and being ‘happy’ just listening to others doing the talking. Well, you cannot tell this guy to suddenly being comfortable and confident enough to speak in front of others.
Don’t get discouraged; not all tips are stressful and strenuous, so relax; you have nothing to worry about. I have taken out time to provide you with the most suitable and also quality tips which will help you improve on presentation delivery as well as speaking in public.
Follow at least 3 out of the list below and get ready to be a public speaking icon.
- Be conscious of your audience
- Know your key points
- Be unique, never try to sound like another person, it’s easy for your audience to realize that you are a fake when you do
- Be captivating, speak with authority
- Tolerate negative energy
- Always be engaging
Be conscious of your audience
Full awareness of the kind of audience you are about to address will help you prepare your speech. Do you know how awkward it will sound when you speak to high school students but yet sound like you are talking to some 60-year-old grandpa? Horrible might be the word to describe it.
So prepare your speech in accordance with your audience and move with the flow. When addressing kids, act like a child. The same goes for all audiences; you must pay attention to things like age, profession or socio-cultural background.
Let me give you an example:
Imagine what it would look like for a professional salesperson to address the C-level decision-makers selling a product, He cannot talk about key concepts such as Return on Investment (ROI), OPEX, and CAPEX, only mentions that the product is impressive.
That’s not what key decision-makers a looking for; they are concerned about the benefits, costs, risks that the product or solution has for the business.
So coming back to the basic tip here: Do not focus on what you want to say, instead focus on what your audience needs to hear if you can master that, then you can sell an idea or product to them.
Know your key points
It really bores the life out of anyone when a speaker comes in front and reads his whole note out of a bunch of prepared paper — no gaze, no body language, just a robot talking.
I remember going out on an official function sometime last year, one particular speaker when called upon, rolled out a pile of printed notes and started reading out to us, within a very short time, I found myself yawning unconsciously. I looked around and discovered that many of my colleagues were pressing their phones, some other silently dozing off. The general picture remained that of a lost crowd.
When speaking in public, it will be quite an effort in futility to read out from your paper like a programmed robot. Just list out some of your main points and have an idea of what exactly you intend to talk about in each point, with that, you become more interesting to the crowd.
Now, let me clarify one thing here
I am not saying you should not have notes or read from some of your visual aids at all. I am saying make sure you prepare, research and know your topic well enough to be able to discuss in details only by ready a few keywords in the PPT/notes, or any other visual aid that you might have.
Be unique (Be Yourself)
My opinion on being unique is that it actually means be yourself, don’t try to look too energetic (when you are not), talk too fast or too slow, or perhaps emulate poorly some body language that does not feel right for you.
Some many public speakers make the mistake of wanting to sound like their mentor. They copy his style and even his mode of speaking. But, guess what, you lose your originality and uniqueness when you try to speak like someone you are not.
You should never sound like another person; you look like a fake when you do. Your crowd knows more than you give them credit for and they can easily spot a fake when they see one.
You are not your mentor (or idol), so try not to sound like him. This is not to say you cannot learn from his style of public speaking, of course, you can but develop what you have learned from him/her into something that is unique to you.
This will make you stand out as a public speaker and in the quest to impress your crowd.
Be captivating and engaging, speak with authority
One outstanding quality of a good public speaker is their ability to command the crowd. Your words and body language should be filled with power, enthusiasm, and positive energy. All this is what shows confidence, and when you are able to espouse such confidence, you are seen as an inspirational leader.
For you to speak with authority, you should have prepared, researched and rehearsed the topic enough times to feel like not only you’re one of the best people to talk about it in the specific perspective that you have, but also you genuinely believe what you’re teaching will help and benefit your audience.
Your level of confidence in body and speech affects your level of charisma which in turn determines your level of skilfulness at presentation and public speaking.
Tolerate negative energy
Now comes the hard part, the thing is as speakers, as humans we must be prepared to face – negative criticism, negative feedback, and all sorts of negative energy that can demotivate us.
You’ll get mocked; you’ll see faces who are not so welcoming to your message. This is only normal, and it should not scare you off. Instead, it would help if you were accommodating to it and not allow to it weaken your speak delivery tactics, and start losing confidence in your skills.
Les Brown, one of my favorite speakers, has been quoted saying:
‘Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.’
I don’t want to come off as an insensitive guy, because I am not. I used to be significantly affected by what people did or say during or after my presentations. I value feedback, and as probably most people out there, it feels good to have positive feedback.
However, if we spend our lives only being told ‘you did great,’ then most probably we will not work as hard to improve ourselves, and eventually, we end up learning that we’re not so great after all.
Always be Engaging
Attending a presentation where people are not interested, engaged nor even inspired to take action is a complete waste of time. As a public speaker, it is your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
After following up the tips above, knowing your audience and doing your prep work for the presentation, you need to come up with some ice-breaking ideas, it could be jokes, or greeting your audience in their local language, or even simply asking questions to have them participate – Don’t be a Monologue!
I have a FREE 2500+ ebook with 6 Proven tips to engage your audience, I have used, and still, use these tips to this day and they’ve served me well. You can follow this link and you will receive the download link on your mailbox.
What does it mean to be a Confident Public Speaker – The conclusion
I will be honest with you, mastering public speaking is an ongoing exercise; I am not a Master, I am one of those guys who struggled, and still struggles depending on the stakes, but has learned and picked up a few tricks to help me navigate better through the whole speaking in public process.
In essence, public speaking is not as difficult as you may have envisioned it. No one was born with the power to speak eloquently. Give it time and good practice, and you will be where you want to be soon.
Being a confident public speaker starts from acknowledging that you have your fears, your concerns, your inadequacies, you are not as good looking, or possess that fantastic voice, or read as many books as those who eloquently make analogies, quotes, and metaphors using examples from famous books and authors.
You are a person, who tries his best to learn as much as he can, who is passionate about something and want to share with the world, and to do that you have got to prepare yourself, prepare your topic, your scripts, the venue, and everything else that might help you comfortably deliver your message.
Thank you for reading this far, I really appreciated it. I would love to hear how you use these tips and how they help you on your way to becoming a confident public speaker and delivering your message to your public with more confidence.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
Carlson, T. (2005). The how of wow: A guide to giving a speech that will positively blow ’em away. New York: American Management Association.
Craughwell, T. J. (2000). The baby on the car roof: And 222 more urban legends. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
Beebe, S. A., & Beebe, S. J. (1991). Public speaking: An audience-centered approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Psychology Today Website (Accessed on 12/04/2018) https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/confidence