Effective Public Speaking: Increase Confidence

This article is a part of Effective Public Speaking series discussed earlier.

Tips to increase confidence 

You can increase your confidence by practicing your speech. Don’t try to get it by heart because if you forget something in the middle you will start fidgeting and getting nervous. Your preparation should be followed by practice so that your self-confidence is not lost anytime during the speech.

Your audience wants you to succeed except a few. You cannot satisfy everyone in the audience. There will always be some backbiters. Forget them and concentrate on the friendly mass and deliver your best speech.

Maintain eye contact with as many people as possible.

Ask questions to keep your audience awake or else they will be fast asleep

Include right volume and pitch to create a great impact

Don’t stand at a single place while giving your speech. Move a little.

Keep your audience motivated so that they are alert while listening

Remember some positive events which happened in the past. It will automatically boost your confidence.

Look cool and calm from outside. If you show your nervousnesses your audience will get distracted.

Be at peace with yourself. Your peace of mind will improve your confidence in speaking.

Movement within Presentation space

It’s very important to show movement within presentation space. You should not walk too often or sway here and there like a pendulum, your audience gets distracted.

Make movements when necessary like towards a podium, whiteboard, laptop during power point presentation. Don’t stick to the wall while speaking as you lose visibility of the audience.

Your whole body should be visible while giving the speech and should not be restricted against a podium unless compulsory. The audience should be able to see your gestures while you speak this creates a positive environment.

Don’t restrict your eye movement just to the front row but try to maintain eye contact with as many people in the audience as possible. They feel important and it helps in grasping the message.

Use your hands to show a clear picture of what you are communicating so that they can visualize your speech. The impact should be great. If you are telling a story use your hands to show big and small objects. Use your facial expressions to create that impact through voice modulation.

You can use objects which enhance the presentation of the speech. This will make the audience a part of the story and they will be able to feel it.

Reducing Verbal Distracts

Verbal distracts lessens  your credibility as a Public Speaker. The audience gets distracted and does not pay attention to what you are speaking and make fun of you.

Verbal distracts are – “uh” “um” “like” “you know” “well” “okay” and “sort of”. They also include annoying mouth sounds and lip smacks.

These verbal fillers or verbal viruses are uttered unknowingly. It’s very important to check them.

There are few measures to reduce verbal distracts –

1) Pause when needed. Don’t utter “uh” when recollecting points in your mind.

2) Record your voice and listen to it. This will make you aware of all visible distracts which you use while speaking.

3) Become aware of what you are speaking so that you are conscious of when you are uttering “um” or “uh”.

4) Practice in front of your friends and tell them to stop you whenever you use verbal fillers. This will improve your speech.

5) Connect with the audience. It will maintain the flow while speaking and you can add some new points to your speech when you cannot recollect your old points. This will prevent you from uttering “um” or “uh”.

Your audience starts counting how many times you used “uh” or “um” and they lose track or the original message and get confused.

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