A skill that many people struggle with is confidence; which is essential when it comes to speaking in public. We have all heard the saying ‘fake it till you make it’ and this is the route which is often required to overcome social anxiety and the fear of public speaking. If you ‘appear’ to be confident, people will take you seriously and want to engage with you. The more that you ‘fake it’ the quicker the confidence will come naturally to you.
It’s about more than just looking ‘nice’. We all want to look presentable for public events, however appearance also reflects how we feel. You do not want to be on a stage speaking in front of hundreds of people in your tightest dress or suit, worrying and feeling self-conscious about it. This makes you look and feel uncomfortable and to others you will seem flustered and nervous.
It is important to be aware of the volume of your voice. You do not want your speech to be the one where people disengage and complain. Although it may be scary to raise your voice, it is also good to realise that people are there to listen to you! They want to hear what you have to say. The tone of your voice is also important to acknowledge; if you are too harsh, you may come across as aggressive and you will push your audience away.
Everybody hates the speaker that stands at the front and stares at the cue cards looking boring. In order to engage with your audience, it is essential that you look at them or at least appear to. A good tip is; if you are nervous and in a large room about to make a speech, it is a great idea to point your gaze towards the back of the crowd. This way you aren't looking directly at anyone but the audience feels that you are engaging and speaking to them. As long as you are confident in knowing the general topic, you should be able to speak confidently without staring too much at your prompts.
Whilst nobody likes to listen to a speech that sounds too rehearsed, it is still important to make sure that you plan appropriately as a unrehearsed speech can lead to a disaster. Writing and editing your speech at least a week in advance will ensure that you are comfortable and understand what you are saying. This will also enable you to read clearly and confidently in front of your audience because you will not need to look at your cards so often.
If you are looking for a venue for your next event or conference. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org