Public speaking is the most common fear that human beings have, ahead of death itself and any selection among the menagerie of gruesome creature, pestilent diseases, or any other anxiety-causing activities.
Because of this fear, the task to speak confidently in front of people can be daunting and difficult for many. Despite the obstacles and stresses, though, there are fortunately a few simple concepts to be remembered in order to improve confidence and delivery for any presentation, including the big secret to gaining and maintaining confidence.Clarity
While it may be obvious that speakers should speak clearly and enunciate their words, in reality, the idea of clarity encompasses much more than pronunciation. The practice applies even in preparation, when the very bullet points to be discussed should be organized in a clear, thoughtful manner, and even the very subject should be considered in the light of effective communication.
From top to bottom, from overarching themes to individual word choices, a speech or presentation should be prepared in a way that maximizes its potential to inform, entertain, or persuade. If the idea is clear, then organized clearly, then has tools available to help clarify further, then the presenter, armed with a top-rate presentation, should already have a confidence boost because of the high quality of his or her materials. Once that is in place, the delivery just becomes another ingredient of the idea, and becomes the simple task of making sure the speaking portion is delivered clearly, at a good volume, in a moderate pace, while avoiding “uh” and “um” but using silent pauses in appropriate places.
This is one key component to an effective presentation that is largely overlooked and may seem minor; however, in actuality it can not only form the difference between a bad presentation and an effective in, but can actually be used as a confidence-booster when mastered.
To speak confidently in front of people involves addressing the audience in a direct, targeted fashion. This demands eye contact; the speakers eyes should be taking in wide-angle gazes over the entire assembly, as well as pointedly locking onto specific targets a few times a minute as well. This makes the topic much more engaging, making every listener pay more attention, and hitting it home personally as well. The fact is, if the preparation is properly performed, and the speaker has the materials mastered (thus already forming a solid foundation for confident deliver), it will make it that much easier to focus on the listeners, rather than the notes.
Finally, the One Big Secret, which begins with the question: What is the difference between truly being confident and just acting confident?
The answer: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
And that is the most significant realization many people can take in order to establish their confidence. When it comes to having to speak confidently in front of people, it is not a task that requires the highest self-worth, or a flawless self-image, or hundreds of hours of experience, or the most impressive pedigree. It just requires the choice to turn nervous energy into confident energy. Just acting confident is exactly the same as being confident; if you can act like you are confident then, believe it or not, you are being confident in that moment. So, go up there and act like you’re an all-star, act like you are going to knock this speech out of the park, act like you are excited, and act like you are one of the most confident human beings on the planet. By the time you are finished, you will realize that it eventually came naturally, and you just transitioned into true, consistent confidence.