Confidence is the certainty with which you believe in something. When you believe strongly in yourself and trust yourself to make wise decisions benefiting you and the ones around you, you are said to be self-confident. This strong belief in oneself can arise from many factors like self-awareness, your outlook on life, etc. When self-confident, people are more likely to trust their judgments, form better relationships, build resilience, and set achievable goals. This, in turn, positively affects their mental and physical health. Being self-confident does not mean that a person has no weaknesses; it means they have acknowledged the weaknesses and are making efforts to resolve them, thus improving their life.
Importance of self-confidence in public speaking
- Reduces Anxiety:
When faced with a large audience, a person may be hit with nervousness and might even forget their talking points. If you are self-confident, you believe in yourself and thus will feel more in control and at ease.
- Clear Communication:
Confidence allows you to clear your mind and structure your thoughts. When your thoughts align, a person can speak with more clarity and conviction. The articulation of your ideas and thoughts becomes easier, and the audience is more likely to understand your message without confusion.
- Handling Mistakes:
Mistakes are bound to happen. How you tackle those mistakes is what matters. Even the most seasoned speakers are found to be lost for words at times. It is then you see them handle the challenge with grace. With self-confidence, you understand that these situations can crop up anytime and feel comfortable handling such unexpected situations more gracefully. It helps you recover quickly while maintaining the audience’s trust.
- Authority and respect:
A confident person will not ask for attention. People are drawn to them like moths. People listen to confident speakers with rapt attention and believe in each word they say. They exude assertiveness, which enhances their credibility.
- Building Personal Brand:
A confident speaker leaves the audience with a strong positive impression. It may cause them to come back for more and even seek guidance from you. It helps the speaker create a brand of themselves that makes people want to associate themselves with them.
- Overcoming Fear:
Fear is caused by overwhelming negative emotions. By gaining confidence in yourself, you will be successful in overcoming it. This will open up new opportunities for growth while exposing you to new unexplored territories.
- Handling Q&A:
During Q&A sessions, you need to be calm and poised to handle each question with extreme care. Any wrong statement may taint your brand. With self-confidence, you will be able to address challenging questions without feeling a loss for words. It will help you articulate your response and clear your mind.
Hence, being self-confident while addressing a large crowd enables the speaker to connect with the audience, engage them, inspire them to think, and motivate them. It leaves a strong impression and helps deliver your message with impact.
How to develop self-confidence in public speaking and presentations?
Some people are quite confident in their skin, but those who feel they lack in that department can indeed develop confidence. With the right mindset and continuous and consistent efforts, literally anything is possible. It may take time, but the results will be fruitful.
- Work your way up:
It would be wise to practice in front of a few friends and family at the start of your Public Speaking journey. They are more likely to give you constructive feedback while providing you with tips and tricks to improve. Such small opportunities make way for bigger ones. You can then work your way up to larger audiences.
- Know Your Material:
A speaker should thoroughly know their material inside out. Most public speakers write and curate their own content, which makes it easy for them to improvise in times of difficulty. It also helps when faced with challenging questions or controversial comments.
- Practice Regularly:
Practice makes a man perfect. Practicing would be recommended for those who are new to Public Speaking. While most seasoned speakers just go with the flow, winging it, rehearsing or practicing in front of a mirror will make you aware of your actions and thus, help you improve.
- Record Yourself:
While practicing, try to record your practice sessions and review them. This will give you a deeper insight into areas of improvement and help refine your skills.
- Engage the Audience:
Seasoned speakers know the trick to a perfect seminar is to engage the audience. Maintaining eye contact, encouraging the audience to think, and asking questions are all forms of engaging the audience. It makes the speaker empathetic while making the audience feel important and contributing more. This creates a positive environment and enhances the overall experience.
- Embrace Nervousness:
It is normal to feel nervous or anxious before facing a huge crowd. Not all are in the habit of talking to huge crowds daily. Instead of ignoring your nerves, channel that energy into something productive, which may help calm you.
- Learn from Others:
Be involved in the community of Public Speaking. Attend presentations or speeches by people who speak on the same topic as you. Observe other seasoned speakers and how they talk, walk, or even use humor to grab the audience’s attention.
- Celebrate Milestones:
Each step towards success is meant to be recognized and celebrated. You realize how far you’ve come from where you started when you self-reflect.
- Seek Feedback:
After each presentation, ask for feedback from trusted people, colleagues, or family. Constructive criticism provides valuable insights into areas that show scope for improvement.
- Set Realistic Goals:
Divide your goal into small, manageable steps. When you achieve these goals, you are motivated to keep going.It is important to note that building self-confidence is not an overnight feat but a process. It is important not to lose hope or be demotivated when faced with challenges. With a positive mental state and consistent efforts, you will reach your aim of becoming an ace speaker. Check out Orator Academy’s website for more content on Public Speaking or building self-confidence.