Not a confident public speaker? Let’s Pretend to be one.
“There are only two types of speakers in the world 1. The nervous 2. Liars”-Mark Twain
Many of us find public speaking difficult to begin with; Speaking in front of a group of people to effectively communicate a message can be a bit scary and challenging.
Most of us are often freaked out by the idea of speaking in front of a group of strangers. But if it were a bunch of friends who were listening to us, we would be great story tellers in front of them.
So why are we anxious when we are told to speak to a bunch of strangers?
In most cases we are anxious about Public speaking due to poor self image. Studies show that people who think negatively of themselves tend to experience more anxiety when reciting a speech, believing that they will appear more anxious and perhaps vulnerable to the judgement of others.
Typically, people with low levels of anxiety get nervous before they begin to speak, but they relax once they have started and they often enjoy delivering the rest of the speech.
When I gave my first ever speech, there were a lot of stutters and stammers, I forgot the written content of speech, but luckily I was able to speak what I intended to.
Next time I gave something similar to a speech was in college, in the English class in front of 50 odd strangers( I was new to the class). I felt my beginning to buckle, my palms began to sweat, I was shivering. Again luck had my back, People did not notice me shivering as my hands were in motion throughout the speech, also I wasn’t wearing a skinny jeans. The baggy jeans effectively concealed the sight of my legs shivering. But I could feel my legs trembling.
The third time, Luck did not favor me. I was supposed to read a paragraph aloud to the class. I was holding a paper In hand and my hand was shivering, people did see it. I hand to move to the nearest table and keep the paper in the table to conceal my nervousness.
But I was determined to get over the fear of public speaking. I researched about why people get nervous during public speaking(If you understand the cause its easier to eliminate it ). I joined the public speaking club in the college in order to have a better command over my body language and speech delivery. It worked, I became better at what I did.
No matter what we do there will always be some amount of anxiety left in us. But with certain techniques we can conceal this anxiety and pretend to be a confident speaker. Here are a few tips.
1)If you are nervous, take a stiff drink( say a glass of wine) it will do wonders. (PS: I’m not encouraging anyone to drink, but I know that it works), there are also researches that back this claim. Do not take anything that has a lot of alcohol, if you do, then the effect will be opposite.
2)The most apparent sign of nervousness is stuttering, stammering and using of filler words like “Um”, “Uhm” etc while we are gathering our thoughts.
We can conceal this by using longer filler words like “However”, “Now”,”you see” etc.
The sentence, “Um, Let me tell you a story…” suddenly sounds much more definitive and powerful when slightly adjusted to “Now, Let me tell you a story…”.
I will sound intentional,but the intention will instill confidence; whether you are confident or not.
3)Also try looking the audience in the eye when you are gathering your thoughts. This will give them an impression that you are a confident speaker.
These tips will surely help you project yourself to be a better, confident speaker.
4) Move around the stage( do not move around too much), this will make the audience believe that you are in command.
If you want to be even better at public speaking, check this out!