If you are moving to build your public speaking confidence, the first thing to do is to plan what you will do over the coming weeks and months. Set yourself some goals and create a list of things to do to get to those goals – “an action plan.”
One way to break down the major goal into smaller, more achievable ones is to try out your strategies in safer environments, before you actually face an audience. For example, take note of how you conduct a conversation – with strangers in particular, maybe a shop keeper, bus conductor, or a person to whom you are introduced at a party or function. The communication and confidence strategies you find yourself using naturally can be used in your public speaking as well. And if you want to improve the communication skills and the confidence, try practicing some of the strategies you intend to use in public speaking, in those conversations. Two especially important skills to practice here are eye contact and a confident approach.
You can also use the same process when you have to leave a telephone message. It is an excellent way of speaking with a purpose, where you may be nervous of making a bad impression. You need to prepare what to say, and you need to present it in an audible, pleasant manner – just as you would for a speech or presentation. Again, here is a chance to develop things you can use again and again so that they come naturally every time.
You can also practise by creating voice mail messages for yourself or your workplace. Here again, the challenge is to convey a certain image – and confidence will be part of it. You can work through preparing the message, practising it and presenting it. This will develop confidence that you can use in presenting a speech.
Finally, find audiences on whom you can practise – the family pet first (!), then your human family or colleagues who are prepared to help. The best practice you will get is if you join a public speaking organisation. Most are excellent, but I recommend POWERtalk because that is the organisation I belong to – but at any club you will have a supportive audience, positive feedback and training to extend what you are learning from me.
Please don’t forget that everyone has setbacks and these are part of your journey to success. And remember, too, that nerves are good – channel them into producing a great presentation.
Author: Bronwyn Ritchie If you want to include this article in your publication, please do, but please include the following information with it:
Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, writer, award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years’ experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being admired, rehired as a speaker, confident and sucessful, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com