We’ve all been there, forced into a presentation or public speaking at some point. For me, I get roped into it easily. I’m so easy to talk to new people, and confident speaking to groups that people think it’s also easy for me to deliver presentations, and speak to masses. The truth is I get nervous just like everybody else, and I always end up tripping over my own tongue. I never used to exuberate confidence, but practice definitely did make perfect – so follow these tips for speaking and presenting confidently:
Don’t ever wing it
Plan what you are going to say and learn it religiously. But don’t memorise it like a parrot, when you practice it, instead do it in a mirror. Or if that’s too off-putting for you, my little hack is acting it out like I’m presenting. I move my hands around, I put on the voice – I deliver the presentation. Once you’ve gone over it a few times, those natural arm movements and exaggerations will be second nature – and you’ll be someone who knows what they’re talking about and just educating others.
Overcome the nerves
Everyone gets nervous, even if it’s a little twinge. We all know what’s it like, we take a deep breath (that doesn’t work) and stand in front of the room, and a shaky voice that’s not yours leaves your lips. The one way to hide this is to instantly project your voice louder. Also when we’re nervous we tend to rush through our speech, which heightens the chance of stumbling over words. Instead speak much slower than you usually would, you will find that it also has a calming effect on you.
Talk about what you know
If I asked you tell a room all about The Harry Potter books, and answer questions I bet you’d have no problem. That’s because it’s something you’re naturally confident about. It’s a topic you know. So you feel safe, and not scared that you’ll make yourself look foolish. If you know what you’re talking about you will exuberate confidence without even trying to.
Bond with the audience
A good joke will help you do this or adding humor into your slideshow. It’s much easier to be confident delivering a presentation when you feel connected with the audience. Once this connection takes place it’s like talking to a group of friends, and the mood becomes instantly more relaxed.
Pick somebody out
I’m not telling you to imagine them naked. But whenever I sit in presentations I always give the person my undivided attention, I nod and interact with what they’re showcasing. Do you ever feel that the person delivering the presentation usually always fixates on you when they speak? That’s because they’ve found someone who interacts, and it helps keep them calm and level.
Smile a lot
You need to make your audience feel comfortable with you, and as soon as they do you will begin to feel yourself relax. Smiling is contagious, so by delivering an upbeat, happy presentation, you’re inviting people to feel invited by your warmth. They’ll be much more engaged, and you would have tricked your body into thinking you’re fine!