Public speaking is a topic that almost everyone who comes into our leadership programs want to improve. I can almost guarantee that when we ask program participants about their expectations, 75% or more will share public speaking, making presentations, sharing my ideas with confidence, managing my nerves before speaking and being positive when speaking. There are some key tips to help.
When you believe in yourself it shines through. Others want to connect with this. As you show your authentic self, others see this and want to connect, they want a piece of what you have. There is something very special, refreshing and comforting about people who are authentic!
Let’s take public speaking. When you walk into the room, stand up to speak or gather yourself behind the podium and you look up at all those eyes looking back at you, there is only one thing to do. You MUST manage how you react to these people. It is important that you:
1. Make eye contact – show your audience you want to be there. Connect through eye contact. Maintaining eye contact will show your audience they can trust you.
2. Hold your presence – stand in your authentic self. Don’t fidget and don’t waffle.
Three key tips to show up and speak with confidence.
Tip 1. Watch your positivity (language and body language).
Use positive language, avoid words like sort of, maybe, etc. Keep you hands away from your hair, face and neck. Touching around your face shows fear and that you are in a fearful situation. People will not trust you or want to listen to you. Fear works against you and this is exactly what you don’t want! Maintain a positive presence.
Tip 2. Speak slowly.
The key is to speak slowly and take long pauses. Practise being happy with silence. Silence or long pauses are good for the listener as they can digest the message more effectively. It is likely that you will feel that your pauses when speaking are long, but your audience will value this.
Tip 3. Box breathing.
Box breathing is a technique that I have been using and teaching with positive results for years. It calms the nervous system and allows you to step up to speak publicly with confidence and ease.
1. Breathe in through your nose.
2. Hold for four counts.
3. Breathe out through your mouth for four counts.
4. Wait for another four counts before speaking or taking another breath.
This technique is really great when you are waiting to speak and then when you are actually speaking in front of a crowd, remember to pause, take a deep breath and keep going. No one will think twice of it and your audience will better digest your message, meaning connection with you is a certainty.
All the very best for your next public speaking engagement. Hope these tips help.