The art of public speaking is one that requires a lot of confidence and expertise on the part of the speaker. It is estimated that 75% of adults in the world today suffer from a fear of speaking in front of an audience.
Even professional public speakers experience this fear sometimes. However, some techniques help them suppress fear and deliver the best performances each time they speak to an audience. Here are 3 surefire techniques that will boost your confidence while speaking to an audience.
1. Prepare Adequately Before the Speech
Preparation is one of the essential elements that will determine your success or failure in public speaking. Someone who doesn’t prepare adequately for whatever activity they are involved in, is automatically planning to fail in that activity. This principle also applies to public speaking. If you wish to deliver a persuasive speech to an audience successfully, then you must prepare yourself adequately.
When preparing your speech, you can visit the presentation venue beforehand to get familiar with the place. You can also write out key points of your address to guide you through the presentation. Above all, prepare to practice and rehearse your speech time and again before the actual delivery.
2. Start in an Interesting Manner
There is no better way to capture and command your audience’s attention when delivering a speech than to start in an exciting and captivating manner. Most successful public speakers today make use of this technique, and it always works for them.
You can start by telling a joke, asking a question, or revealing an interesting fact about the topic you want to discuss. Whichever device you choose to begin with though, make sure it is presented in a manner that will get your audience interested in what you have to say. When you can capture your audience’s attention from the beginning, speaking confidently is bound to become easier for you.
3. Focus on the Friendly Faces
One of the best strategies that could help boost your confidence while delivering a speech to an audience is to focus on the friendly faces in the crowd. From my experience over the years, I have discovered there will always be people in every audience willing to encourage you as you deliver your speech.
They do this, either by portraying a friendly face, nodding to the things you say, showing a high interest in your address, etc. Focusing on these people can do a lot of good for your confidence and poise.
Finally, be prepared to make mistakes!
It does not matter how long you’ve been a public speaker or how much of an expert you are in the art of public speaking; nobody is above mistakes. As long as you keep making attempts to deliver speeches, you are bound to make mistakes. Your reactions to these mistakes can boost or damage your public speaking confidence. This is why it is necessary to prepare for them so that you are not caught off guard when they come.
You can adopt several strategies for covering your mistakes during public presentations, such as telling a joke. However, the most important thing is realising that it’s normal to make a mistake and that you can still deliver a great speech, even after the error.