Learning to speak with confidence is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a presenter. Speakers without it have a very difficult time connecting with the audience because they’re lost in their own nervousness rather than focusing on their delivery and cultivating an audience connection. Not only does the audience feel less connected, but they’ll also have a difficult time trusting or believing what you have to say. After all, if you can’t trust yourself to deliver your message confidently, why should they?
So, how does one elevate themselves from feeling nervous and hesitant to speaking with confidence that commands a room? It’s actually easier than you might think. The following techniques are simple things you can do to increase your confidence levels and deliver an inspiring presentation every time.
Strike a Power Pose
In Amy Cuddy’s groundbreaking TED Talk, she shared a ton of useful information about speaking with more presence, but one of the biggest takeaways from her research is what she discovered about “power posing.”
A power pose is when someone stands with their hands on their hips for two minutes prior to presenting. What she found was that the people who did that simple exercise prior to their presentations not only felt significantly more confident when presenting but were perceived by the audience as being more confident as well.
Prepare With All Your Might
Sure, presentation prep might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of presenters fail to do it thoroughly enough which always results in more uncertainty and less confidence. If you want to quiet your nerves and command attention, then you must know what you’re going to say forwards and backward. But don’t stop there.
In addition to knowing what you’re going to say, you need to know how you’re going to say it. That means carving out time to rehearse your delivery and paying mind to where you should pause for effect, inflect for impact, and take time to answer audience questions. If you take care to do this carefully and thoughtfully, you’ll be a whole lot more confident walking on that stage.
Take Your Time
One of the biggest signals to the audience that you’re nervous is rushing through your presentation. Speeding through your talk says that you’re more concerned about getting your presentation over with than delivering a message your audience will value.
Therefore, make sure to take your time. Even if you’re nervous as all hell, if you pay mind to your pace, taking time to pause, ponder, and solicit questions, you’ll come off as much more relaxed and confident. Plus, rushing through your talk makes it impossible for your audience to retain information, so slowing down will ensure your important message is actually received.
Be Real and Authentic
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. So many presenters make the mistake of obsessing about delivering every word perfectly, afraid that if they break from the mold and crack a joke or laugh at themselves they’ll be perceived as having less authority over the topic. But the opposite is actually true.
The best presentations come from those who are unabashedly themselves; those who don’t take themselves too seriously and are able to be open and vulnerable with the audience. Just check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk about it if you don’t believe us. Someone who demonstrates that they’re unafraid to be who they are is someone others want to pay attention to.
Interested in learning more about how to deliver an effective presentation? Then check out Ethos3’s Catapult Training.
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