So, you probably think the guy giving the speech at the front of the room has more confidence than you do. Well, you might be dead wrong in your assumption. Speaking in front of others is one of the most challenging things any person can attempt. The guy behind the dais has most likely figured out that conquering the speaking bug is a sure way to move a career forward, but the truth is, he may not have any more confidence than the rest of us. How do we go about gaining enough bravado to join him at the podium? Let’s look at a few tips.
1. Ditch the fear of failure.
Let’s be realistic. You’ll give great speeches someday! But you’ll also give mediocre speeches, and can I say it? Yes, you may give a couple of presentations that you won’t want your mother to know about. If you think about it, though, it’s the way we do most things. Nothing in our lives is done in excellence, one hundred percent of the time! Why not give yourself some room to grow from the start?
2. Use preparation as a tool.
It’s hard enough to be confident, but woefully so, if we don’t prepare. Speaking is similar to taking an exam. If you haven’t studied, you probably won’t do well. Start developing the habit of solid preparation now. You’ll never be sorry you did!
3. Work on the small things ahead of time.
Wearing your lucky suit, or the dress that you feel flatters you most, really does help you to stand tall. If you know you look your best, you’ll be more apt to give your best.
4. Take the good with the bad, after it’s over.
Judge your performance realistically, BUT NOT EMOTIONALLY. There will always be good that
you did well, along with practices you need to improve. Make every attempt to gauge your speech as one who was watching. Better yet, enlist the aid of a coworker to help you assess, or maybe to video for you. Remember the purpose is NOT to beat yourself up, but to tweak small things that you feel you could do better the next time you speak.
By engaging with the process of speaking, you may find your confidence incrementally strengthening more than you had ever imagine.