Four Tips to Becoming a Confident Speaker

Public-SpeakerAre you one of the many professionals whose knees get weak at the thought of speaking at a meeting, let alone a conference? Stephen Keague, author of “The Little Red Handbook of Public Speaking,” has six little P's for you to remember. Keague said,

“Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.” In addition to Keauge's advice, there are few other tips that may prove helpful in your journey to becoming a more confident speaker.

1. Acknowledge your nerves. Managing your anxiety by acknowledging your nerves won't make the butterflies go away, but it can keep it from increasing. Tell yourself you're nervous, then refocus on your planning and preparation.

2. Research. Nothing says confidence quite like knowing and understanding your topic. It's easier for your message to flow when you feel comfortable with the information you're providing.

3. Practice. You can practice in front of a mirror, but consider setting up a camera to record your pre-performance. You'll have a visual reference for what you should work on. You can also listen for filler words like “uh,” “um” and “so.” Rather than using these words, take a breath to fill the space in time between your thoughts.

4. Relax. Breathing deeply relaxes your voice and can improve your delivery. Too much muscle tension can also affect the way you appear and sound. Before taking the stage, roll your head, wiggle your toes and shrug your shoulders to help you relax.

The last thing to remember is to have fun. Fun is contagious. When you enjoy what you do, that will be conveyed in your message to your audience.

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