Anyone who says that they don’t even get a hint of nerves when public speaking must surely be a robot, right? Standing up and talking in front of a crowd of people is nerve-wracking for everyone, despite how confident a person may appear to be on the outside.
It’s perfectly natural to get a few butterflies in your tummy before you step out on stage, that just shows how passionate you are to deliver something great. But what if you’re one of the many people who feels crippling fear and anxiety about even the idea of giving a talk? Well, you could enlist the help of a speaker agency, or you could actually use public speaking to build your self-confidence.
You may not want to hear this, but if you want to improve your self-confidence, then you have to start somewhere – and by that, we mean actually talking. Facing your fears head on is the only way you’re going to be able to progress, develop your skills and move on from what’s holding you back. We’re not talking about big conferences and events just yet. But start small by offering to give an update in your next team meeting at work or do a short presentation to your wider department. Then, you can build it up from there.
The key to success with public speaking is preparation. Even if you do have nerves, being well-prepared is what will get you through. You should already have some confidence in the fact that people have either asked or agreed to have you get up there and give a talk, but by putting in the time and effort to get organised, plan and fully rehearse (rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!) your presentation, your confidence will naturally grow with it.
Public speaking will encourage you to become an even bigger expert in your subject matter, as you’ll perfect every detail of the information you’re sharing and will prepare yourself well enough to answer any resulting questions that may come your way afterwards. Such preparation will ensure you won’t give anyone reason to doubt your authority.
Realise it’s normal
Just because somebody appears confident when public speaking, doesn’t mean that they don’t also feel the dreaded fear that comes with it. The more people you talk to, the more you’ll realise that this is a totally normal feeling to have. Thankfully, though, the aforementioned preparation works wonders for hiding it.
It might be easier said than done, but there really is nothing to fear about public speaking – nothing actually dangerous can happen to you as a result of it, you just might feel a bit uncomfortable. Believe it or not, the audience will be actually willing you to do well! Once you realise that it’s natural to feel a few nerves, your confidence will start to improve and hide them!
Reap the rewards
The more public speaking you do, the better you’ll get and the easier it will become. As you grow in confidence you’ll also actually begin to enjoy it.
Not only does public speaking work wonders for your own self-development, but it will also get your face out there and in turn you will be more well-known by your audience. If you have a product to sell or a service to provide, people will either learn about you at the talk or hear of you by word of mouth afterwards – it’s a great way to sell yourself and tackle that underlying imposter syndrome.
So, are you ready to start using public speaking to your advantage? Accept your fears, work with them and take a step in the right direction to improving your self-confidence.