How to be a more confident Public Speaker and hook any audience instantly?
This is answer for question How to be a more confident Public Speaker and hook any audience instantly? by Practical Wisdom. How to Speak Confidently in Public “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
This was the opening line of what is now celebrated as one of the greatest speeches of all time, The Gettysburg Address. Surprisingly enough, this speech by President Abraham Lincoln was also one of his shortest.
Which begs the question, what made Honest Abe’s speech so incredible, that even now just about anyone you know can quote at least a little bit? Elsewhere in history, Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated for his activism and his fight for civil rights.
However, he is remembered most for his “I have a dream” speech. I’ll bet you didn’t know that originally, this famous snippet wasn’t actually going to be part of his speech during the march on Washington at all. What prompted MLK to share that dream, with a gigantic crowd of 250,000, was one female gospel singer who had previously heard about his dream earlier in Detroit. The rest is, of course, history.
These two speeches have one thing in common; they were both spoken by men of impeccable confidence. Do you think they were naturally born with that much charisma? Maybe they were.
But what about those of us who weren’t? Confidence when speaking in public is a skill that can be learned, which has been proven by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, and Joel Osteen, just to name a few.
Confidence when speaking in public starts with gaining a basic sense of confidence in your day to day life, and that’s the first thing you’ll learn how to do in today’s post. After that, we’ll dive into some of the ways you can improve your confidence specifically when you’re speaking in public.
We’ll also give you some tried and tested hacks that will help distract you from your nervousness when you’re speaking in public. After all, you might be surprised to hear this, but most people get more nervous when they think about speaking in front of a crowd than they do when they think about dying. So, let’s go ahead and get you on the way to speaking your dreams, just like Martin Luther King.
What exactly is confidence?
Confidence is mostly just being comfortable in your own skin. That might sound a little dumbed down for some of you, but roll with me here.
You’re truly confident when you can stand in front of a mirror, look at yourself, and know that you’re enough. You recognize your own abilities, positive qualities, and your worthiness to the world, without needing a third party to reassure you about any of those points. Before being able to confidently speak in public, first, you have to be confident.
Did anyone ever tell you to stop slouching as a kid?
Well they did that for a reason, because the first way to improve your confidence is to start walking with a straight spine. Walking tall is a sure way of gaining self-confidence.
Here’s why: when your spine is straight, your head tends to be held high and your chest is open and vulnerable to the world. In the most primitive sense, this tells everyone else in the room that you aren’t at all worried about any potential threats.
Most people spend their entire lives trying to avoid trouble. Walking with a straight spine shows people that even when trouble arrives, you’re ready to face it head on. This is literally the walk of confidence, and it even affects your psychology.
When you maintain an upright posture, your brain follows suit, releasing positive endorphins and bringing forth the powerful person within you. If you can’t take my word for it, you can definitely trust science, right? On to our next point, grooming yourself and dressing nicely is another sure fire way of improving your confidence.
Confidence is almost entirely intrinsic.
Even if you’re really worried about how other people see you, confidence really comes down to how you see yourself. It’s common sense that a nice shower followed by an incredible outfit makes you feel good about yourself.
Unfortunately, a lot of us often ignore this simple axiom when we’re in a rush. But, the better you start taking care of yourself, the better you’re going to feel about being yourself.
Of course, you don’t have to wear expensive cologne or perfume, or start wearing thousand dollar suits. Just dress in a way that makes you feel good, instead of making you check out your reflection in shop windows on the way to your office just to make sure you’re not as much of a mess as you think you are.
A few important questions.
Who do you want to be? What kind of person is your “ultimate self”? Does she smile a lot? Is he always nice to the waiter? Every one of us has a person we dream we could be on the best day of our lives, with dreams of being the president, an award-winning scriptwriter, or maybe just the most fun guy at the party.
One way of gaining confidence is by slowly bringing this person to life. Ask yourself, what could you be doing at each moment to help bring that person to life? Being intentional about who you want to become, and changing anything that might be holding you back from your dream self, naturally increases your confidence.
We all have an inner critic, who talks down to us constantly and tells us what we’re doing wrong. A lot of us get so used to listening to that inner critic, that we start mistaking the criticisms for who we actually are. “Oh no! I’m not talking to that girl: I haven’t got a chance in hell of convincing her I even exist!” “Who am I kidding? this dress is way too short.
Everyone in the room will be judging me.” Our inner critic might seem like it’s trying to help us be the best version of ourselves, but oftentimes, it’s really just encouraging us to try and be exactly like everyone else. If we listen too intently, this inner critic gets out of control and starts to become way too loud.
To gain confidence, make sure that this voice you’re spending so much of your time with is actually championing your dreams, and not holding you back from them. Constantly giving yourself positive reinforcement and advice on how to improve for the better works to makes you more confident.
You wouldn’t be friends with someone who insulted you all the time, would you? So why do it to yourself? Now that you know what it takes to be more confident on a daily basis, how can you translate it to public speaking?
How do you become a better and more confident speaker?
Speaking Confidently in Public Gaining self-confidence when talking to a cute girl at the grocery store doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be comfortable engaging a crowded auditorium.
Public speaking is an art, one that requires skill and experience to fully master. Learning how to speak confidently in public involves knowing what works for you, what doesn’t, and how you can deal with your nerves. Remember, everyone gets nervous when about to speak to a crowd; Gandhi did, and so did Barrack Obama. And it took a lot of practice for both of them to become the legendary speakers we remember them as.
The first step to speaking confidently in public is to examine your excuses. What’s holding you back? Why are you so afraid of doing it in the first place? Often times, we get caught up in the idea that we need to hold the attention of a lot of people all at once.
What if the guy sitting in the third row thinks I’m a total snooze? Well, I’ve got news for you. There’s a reason that guy isn’t on stage, and you are. He’s afraid. In fact, just about everyone is terrified of the idea of speaking in front of a large group. So that’s at least one thing you have in common with your audience.
When you start thinking in this way, you realize that you’re not so different from the people you’re addressing. Most importantly, don’t imagine that you’ll ever get to a point where you’re completely free from fear or nervousness when you stand up to address a crowd.
Even the best of the best in public speaking mention that they get nervous before addressing an audience. So, why not just embrace the fear and the nervousness? After all, they’re signs that you’re doing something that really matters to you.
You can go home and binge watch Netflix in bed 364 other days out of the year, but today, you have the once in a lifetime opportunity to share what you’re all about. If you do find that you’re still overly anxious about addressing an audience though, start building a routine of preparation to help you stay grounded despite all the anxiety.
Get the information you need and put time into practicing as well. Talk to a mirror or a family member to test-run your speech, as this prepares you for the audience you are supposed to speak to. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to totally blank out once you feel all eyes are on you.
Even if you do go up, the most dreaded moment in any speech giver’s life, consider this: This is your stage. Own it. It’ll come back to you, and in the meantime, showing the audience you’re comfortable, even when you’re reaching for the next idea, will convince them you’re worth listening to.
By the way, when you stand in front of an audience, don’t try to speak to everyone; speak to just one person at a time. In any crowd, there are people who will listen intently to everything you’re saying. Some simply won’t. This isn’t a problem with you. It’s a problem with people in numbers.
We all knew that kid who slept through every class he ever had in high school, right? Are you giving the speech for him? Or for the person whose life might be truly changed by the words you have to offer? As you start speaking, move your eyes through the crowd and identify someone who is already concentrating on what you’re saying: maybe they’re leaning forward and maintaining eye contact with you.
Talk as if they are the only person in the audience, and everyone else isn’t even paying attention to you. This will temporarily alleviate any anxiety you might be feeling. Just be sure not to stay with any one person for too long, and include as many different members of the audience as you feel comfortable with.
The main advantage of this is that it changes what you are doing into a conversation. It’s not about speaking to the three hundred people packed into the auditorium all at the same time; instead, it’s about reaching out for a moment, and having a conversation with that one person. While we’re at it, good public speakers don’t need to be stand-up comedians, but a little laughter never hurts.
Don’t simply bore your audience with facts from beginning to end; make a joke here and there to raise their spirits, and reassure them that even if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re still a normal human being just like they are.
When people laugh at something you say, you get more confident because, well, they laughed. If you say something you thought was funny and no one responds, you might even be brave enough to make a joke about that.
Focusing on what you’re speaking about, by listening to yourself and following your thought processes, also helps you to speak confidently in public. Public speaking is about providing value to each member of your audience, and focusing on your message helps do this.
As you speak, listen to yourself, so you can hear what your audience is getting from you, and be bold enough to adjust your wording to suit the message you’re trying to convey. Don’t just get caught up on the sound of your own voice though. If you’re like me, sometimes you hate the way you sound. Don’t worry about that. Just focus on what you’re saying, and on what you want to say.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, try to develop a juicy stage persona, one that fully represents what you’re talking about. Confident public speaking is not just about the ability to stand in front of people and tell them about a message you prepared.
Rather, it is about embodying the message you are trying to convey. Have you ever seen any of Kevin Hart’s stand-up performances? The man’s words are funny, but the way he phrases and delivers them can make you choke up laughing just from who he is.
Another good example is Dan Whitney, whom you might know as Larry The Cable Guy. While none of his jokes are particularly inventive or groundbreaking, by developing a stage persona that people immediately recognize and relate to, Dan Whitney manages to make jokes most fifth graders could come up with command packed venues full of loud, drunk people.
To embody your message, understand what the message is, and be passionate about it. Use your best qualities as a speaker and a human being to deliver the message. At the same time, figure out what internal traits and trademark features work best with you, and capitalize on them when speaking to your audience.
Public speaking is an art that is learned, and one of the key skills in learning this art is self-confidence. When you are comfortable in your own skin, speaking in front of people is not as hard as it might feel to you right now. As you stand in front of people to speak, make sure you know your stuff, embody your message, crack a few jokes and most importantly, accept the nervousness and fear that you are experiencing.
Fighting the fear usually works against any public speaker, because then, the fear fights its way through you and exudes through your pores by sweating or trembling. When you stand in front of a crowd, feel the butterflies, acknowledge them, stand straight, and open with a funny joke. Remember, this could be one of the best nights of your life.
Thank you guys so much for Reading. If you liked this post, please rate “How to be a more confident Public Speaker and hook any audience instantly? by Practical Wisdom”. And share it with a few other public speakers in your life.
Credit: Practical Wisdom