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Tips to build your confidence in public speaking

In my last post I spoke about vulnerability in public speaking. This time I want to share some tips that have helped me build my confidence over the years in public speaking.

Everyone has different techniques and approaches that they use, but here are some that I would recommend based on my own experience. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather, a sample of some very basic and practical things that you can do whenever you are speaking in public. Your confidence as a public speaker will only increase over time if you follow some of these.

1.    Be well prepared. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Planning is always the key to success.

2.    Know your topic. No-one knows your topic better than you.

3.    Have a well-crafted and structured script that you know well. Remember that words are powerful… but try to keep it conversational.

4.     Practice, practice, practice, practice… not in front of the mirror, but out loud as if you are already on the stage. Practice on your own and in front of a trusted friend who will give you honest feedback.

5.    Speak from the heart and be yourself. Emotion will always trump logic. Be humble and authentic.

6.    Less is always more. Keep your message simple.

7.    Pace yourself and stay focussed.

8.    Use stories to illustrate aspects of your speech. Stories are powerful.

9.    Know who is in the audience and speak to them.

10.  Remember to smile. It will help you connect with your audience. 

And one more…

11.  Remember to breathe…….. it will help to calm your nerves!