When you’re first starting to get into your public speaking game, you probably compare yourself with other speakers who you believe sound more confident than you.
Some people seem to just get up on a stage and have no doubts at all about themselves or what they’re saying. But when you speak, you may question the words you use, every trip in your speech and even whether or not the audience even understands what you’re saying.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many developing public speakers worry about their confidence level. The good news is, the more you work at it, the better you will get and the better you will feel about it. If you’re feeling a lot of tension between wanting to speak and feeling that you’re inherently not good at it, that probably just means you’re improving at a rapid pace.
Remember these tips as you try to become a more confident speaker:
#1. Practice, practice, practice
The more you get yourself out there giving speeches and practicing your skills, the better you’ll get at it, and quickly. The first few times you consistently get up to give a speech, you may start to feel that you’re taking the wrong path and doing the wrong thing. But after you give your fifth, sixth or seventh speech within a few months, you’ll probably start to feel a major shift.
Truthfully, just getting yourself out of your comfort zone and getting yourself more used to talking in front of people will make a huge difference in how confident you feel about your own abilities. That internal confidence will shine through in your performance, and you audience will be able to tell.
#2. Speak in front of a mirror
Sometimes you worry about how you are coming across visually to your audience. Are you too fidgety, not smiling enough or too boring in your body language? It can be hard to tell when you’re up there giving that speech. But if you make it a habit to practice your speaking in front of a mirror, you will start to look at and self-evaluate how you are coming across to your audience.
When you speak in front of a mirror, pay attention to your facial expression and may attention to the way you use your space. Walking around causally during your speech can really add to how confident you appear, and that’s the kind of thing you may get used to in front of the mirror.
Don’t think too hard about it. You will self-adjust many of your behaviors as you start to watch yourself more often. Just use that mirror and all it has to offer!
#3. Bring attention to yourself more often
In your everyday conversations and as you deal with people daily, you can add to your confidence as a speaker. How? Simply by putting yourself out there in social situations more often. Every once in awhile, respond to something that you might not normally respond to. Crack the joke you would normally keep to yourself. Ask that question that you feel may make you look stupid.
The effect of this is you will begin putting yourself out there and becoming vulnerable to other peoples’ criticisms. Often criticisms are much less harsh than we believe they are, so when you start asserting yourself more often, you may realize that the criticism you imagine isn’t all you think it is.
#4. Record yourself speaking
Sometimes, a lack of confidence in your speech can come across as a cracky or shake voice that’s hard to control. If you feel nervous as you stand in front of the crowd, your voice will naturally take twists and turns you may not want it to.
If you start recording yourself practicing your speeches, you will be much more likely to critique your vocal quality and making self-adjustments. Record yourself when you’re speaking in front of a crowd when you can. If you can’t, just doing it at home as you practice can help as well.