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Have you ever looked at someone—a public speaker, a politician, or a friend—and been amazed by their unwavering confidence? Their communication skills, ability to command attention and captivate an audience are truly remarkable. But what if I told you that confidence in public speaking is not just reserved for a selected few?
In this blog, we will explore the secrets of how to be a confident speaker in public speaking, providing valuable techniques and insights to:
So let’s start with the first step right away!
1. Look Confident
Do you wonder if the audience can tell that you are underconfident when you present sometimes? Ever thought about how you can just project confidence and appear comfortable even though you are not?
That’s where the following technique comes into play.
Technique 1: Fake It Till You Make It
Fake it until you make it is a method used in public speaking where you should think and act confidently, even if you don’t feel confident at first. Over time, this deliberate behaviour can change how you feel on the inside and make you naturally feel more secure.
How to “fake it till you make it”:
- Posture and body language: During your public speaking event stand tall with your shoulders back and head held high. Avoid slouching or fidgeting, as it can convey nervousness. A confident posture exudes self-assurance.
- Smile: A genuine smile communicates warmth and approachability. It also signals to the audience that you feel comfortable and confident in your role as a speaker.
- Gestures and expressions: Use purposeful gestures to emphasise key points. Avoid excessive hand movements or fidgeting, and let your facial expressions reflect enthusiasm and conviction.
With this technique, you can indeed look confident in front of people. However, most people shy away from making eye contact. The following section will tell you how to overcome this issue.
Technique 2: 50/70 Rule
The 50/70 rule for public speaking says that you should make eye contact with your audience between 50-70% of the time you are speaking or delivering a presentation. It shows how to identify and make the right amount of eye contact to connect with the audience, keep their attention, and exhibit confidence.
How to use the 50/70 rule:
Step 1: Decide how long eye contact should last based on the situation, the number of people in the group, and cultural norms.
Step 2: Take short breaks from eye contact to gather your thoughts, move from one point to the next, or stress important points. This prevents staring and allows the audience to absorb information.
Step 3: Scan to look at different people or groups in the crowd. Spread your gaze to ensure everyone feels included, and avoid staring at one person for too long.
Step 4: Use the 50/70 rule when you talk to people, ask for comments and make changes as needed. With practice, you will develop a natural flow and a sense of how to use eye contact well.
We discussed looking confident but let’s discuss the most crucial aspect. This section will discuss a few techniques to sound more confident while speaking.
2. Sound Confident
Have you ever felt your message creates less impact because your voice is not strong enough and how can you change this issue?
Learn how to harness the full power of your voice when you speak, show confidence in public, and captivate your audience’s attention with your engaging and self-assured delivery.
Your voice is a powerful tool for engaging your audience and conveying your message effectively. To improve your vocal variety and tone, consider the 4Ps technique:
1. Pitch: It is how your voice changes from one tone to another when you speak. Different pitches can help you show your feelings, highlight important points, and keep your audience interested.
Raise your pitch to express excitement or surprise when sharing good news, announcing a thrilling event or cheering on a sports team.
Lower your pitch to convey seriousness, authority or mystery. This can be useful in delivering an effective presentation, addressing instructions and sharing intriguing information.
2. Pace: It is how fast/slow you speak. Changing your pace can add focus, or make things more transparent. It’s essential to keep a steady pace that your listeners can keep up with.
Slow down your pace to add weight and importance to your words. This is useful in delivering key messages, making announcements, or explaining complex concepts.
Speedup to convey excitement or urgency, such as during a lively debate to match the energy of the conversation or when delivering time-sensitive information.
3. Pause: It is the break or moments of silence at the correct times in your speech to emphasise your point. Pauses give your audience time to take in what you’re saying, draw attention to the most important thing or points, build expectations, and give your speech a sense of rhythm.
Take a brief pause before delivering an important statement to build anticipation and create a dramatic impact. This can be applied during public speaking or storytelling.
Use pauses strategically throughout your speech or presentation to allow listeners to process information or emphasise certain points.
4. Power: By speaking publicly with conviction, projecting your voice, and emphasising key points, you instil a create of responsibility and motivate your audience to take action.
Use a strong voice, change your volume to emphasise points, and enunciate each word clearly, especially.
Persuade others by confidently presenting your main points as power gives credibility to your message and makes it more convincing.
Language And Vocabulary:
Language and vocabulary improve a speaker’s ability to communicate ideas clearly but also gives them the power to connect with a wide range of audiences on a profound level in public speaking. We sound authoritative, confident, and trustworthy when we employ engaging vocabulary. This gains trust and attention.
Tips for using language effectively:
Choose powerful words:
By choosing powerful words, we can make a stronger impact on our audience. When selecting words, consider their connotation, emotional impact, and ability to engage and persuade.
Powerful words command attention, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impression.
Words for example, breathtaking, time-sensitive, risk-free and more can make your presentation more persuasive.
Minimise filler words:
Filler words like “um,” “like,” and “you know” can take away from our message and make it harder to get our point across.
Replace them with intentional pauses or transition words to convey a sense of thoughtfulness and confidence.
You can use words like therefore, also, first of all, and more to keep your fillers words to a minimum.
After learning to look and sound confident, let’s talk about how to feel confident. In this section, we will discuss techniques that help you gain confidence in public.
3. Feel Confident
Does this happen when you step on stage you start breathing rapidly which makes you walk and talk faster, use irregular gestures, lose confidence and become nervous.
Discover essential techniques and mindful exercises to overcome fear, harness the adrenaline rush, and feel confident as you convey your message in public speaking or interpersonal meetings.
Glance And Anchor Technique
Do you know how it feels when you are on the stage during public speaking and suddenly fear hits you all at once? It’s like a strong wave: it’s scary, it takes over, and you can’t stop it. The reality is that many of us don’t know how to deal with anxiety when it hits. Glance and anchor method, on the other hand, is a simple method that has been shown to help lower anxiety.
How to use glance and anchor techniques?
Step 1: Find an audience member or thing in your environment that makes you feel good or gives you confidence. It can even be the back wall of different sections of the room.
Step 2: When you’re anxious or need a boost, quickly look at that face or item to get back on track and calm down.
Step 3: Use the glance anchor method before meaningful conversations, presentations, or challenging situations.
Step 4: Remember that the point isn’t to rely on the anchor constantly but to get your mind back on the job.
Step 5: Use the glance anchor method in different situations to help you feel more stable and calm inside.
Step 6: Over time, you’ll feel more confident and strong and depend less on external anchors and more on your inner power.
A power pose is a way to show confidence and power through your body language during public speaking. It involves taking on a wide stance. You can use the power pose by being aware of your posture and changing it to be more open and straight. Don’t slouch or cross your arms because these actions can make you look closed off or uncertain.
How to do power poses:
Step 1: Find a quiet place to practise where you won’t be interrupted.
Step 2: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or raised in a winning stance.
Step 3: Keep your shoulders back and your chest open.
Step 4: Take deep breaths and stay in the pose for about two to three minutes.
Step 5: Picture yourself as solid and sure of yourself as you hold the power pose.
Step 6: Do this exercise again before a big speech or whenever you need more confidence in public.
Let’s look at some helpful resources that can help you feel more confident as a public speaker. These can give you more advice and techniques to improve your communication skills further.
Resources To Become A Confident Public Speaker
Books: Books such as “The Power of Eye Contact” by Michael Ellsberg, Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, and “Speak with No Fear” by Mike Acker provide valuable insights to become a confident public speaker, including tips on body language, vocal modulation, and building self-confidence.
Online courses: Public speaking courses offer structured and comprehensive guidance to build confidence on stage, with expert instructors providing valuable feedback and tailored strategies. Public speaking classes host a wide range of public speaking courses and techniques, allowing individuals to access professional training and refine their skills from the comfort of their own homes.
TED Talks: Watching TED Talks of confident speakers can be an excellent source of inspiration and learning. Observe how seasoned speakers engage their audience members, craft powerful narratives from personal stories, and convey complex ideas effectively.
YouTube tutorials: YouTube offers a vast array of public speaking tutorials and tips from experienced speakers. These bite-sized videos can be a valuable resource for specific techniques and advice.
It’s rare for a speaker to have learned all the ways of confident public speaking. In fact, many people don’t know about them. Now that you know, all you have to do is practice, practice, practice. If it takes longer than you thought, don’t be too hard on yourself. Some of these strategies will take a few tries to get right, while others, will take a few hours. Keep at it. There is nothing more powerful than having thoughts that match the power of your presence.