For some people speaking in public can be a horrific and embarrassing experience. One can experience anxiety, and even become nauseous at the thought. With practice and techniques, you can overcome your fears and stand up before an audience with confidence and poise. In this article, Michael Wiener of Albuquerque New Mexico, founder of Bestplates.com, shares four tips on becoming more confident when speaking in public.
Understand What Makes You Fearful
One of the most common issues when it comes to public speaking is stage fright. Something causes you to be afraid of your audience, and suddenly you are sweating, forget what you are trying to say, or begin to mumble. To overcome stage fright, you must first understand the underlying reason as to why speaking in public makes you so fearful.
To identify what is making you afraid, ask yourself the following questions: “What will I do to embarrass myself?” and “Why am I afraid to be on stage?” The first question usually resonates with answers such as doing something silly or saying something the audience finds stupid or doesn’t understand. However, the audience doesn’t know your speech ahead of time and has no way of knowing if you mess up or not. You can find peace in knowing that their minds are a blank slate waiting to learn from what you have to say. The second question commonly results in people afraid of the silence of the audience is staring at them. The audience is looking at you because they are eager to hear what you have to say. Remember, you are speaking for a reason, and they are there because what you have to share is important for them to hear.
The more time you dedicate to practicing what you have to say in public, the more confidence you will have in your speech. Take time to do your research and ensure you are a subject matter expert on the topic. Whether you stand in front of a mirror, practicing speaking in front of a loved one, or record yourself, take adequate time to prepare and review your practice. Take notes and adjust until you are happy with the result. Being prepared gives you the ability to calm down, take a breath, and adjust without feeling like you have lost control of your speech altogether.
Be Natural and Authentic
Public speaking is what you make of it. You are probably more comfortable making a toast at a dinner party or telling a story to a room full of friends. Pretend you are in one of those situations and act as though you are conversing with a few people in the audience. Be yourself and act as how you usually would. People make the mistake of trying to copy famous public speakers when realistically, they should focus on being comfortable in their own shoes.
Dress to Impress
When speaking in public, take the time to select the appropriate outfit. Dressing professionally can boost your confidence; however, make sure you dress comfortably as well. The last thing you want to do is wear a shirt or dress that makes it difficult to breathe in, which can increase your anxiety. Find what makes you feel confident but lets you move effortlessly.
About Michael Wiener
Michael Wiener, Albuquerque New Mexico entrepreneur, is a license plate collector, researcher, and consultant who is considered one of America’s leading authorities in the field of automobile license plates and motor vehicle licensing systems. He is also a former Albuquerque City Councilor, New Mexico State Senator, Bernalillo County Commissioner, and was featured on HGTV’s “Offbeat America” TV show.