Enter With Boldness
Boldness and hesitation will elicit very different responses from your audience. Hesitation creates obstacles, boldness eliminates them. Start your talk with boldness to appear larger and more interesting — the first impression is critical. Play a video, tell a story or a joke or make a bold statement about your material — just don’t start with a boring agenda. Boldly entering the stage will also have the magical effect of camouflaging your inexperience and oratory deficiencies. Boldness gives you presence while the timid fade into wallpaper.
Learn From Other Public SpeakersM
Study the best. Follow your favorite public speakers on social media and sites like SlideShare. I also watch Ted Talks to learn from the best speakers in the world. Attend live events to learn from and emulate your favorites. Observe how they use their hands to add emphasis to key points. Note how they raise and lower their voice to keep you focused on their message. The best public speakers are masters of inspiring an audience. Study their movements and delivery style to feed off their confidence.
Be Open to Feedback
Both positive and negative feedback can improve public speaking confidence. One of the most painful experiences is watching recordings of yourself. Watch yourself on video and observe your overall delivery. What seemed to rouse the audience? Watching yourself from a third-person perspective can accelerate your growth. Being open to criticism helps you develop thick skin. Grow your confidence from both positive, inspiring feedback and negative, constructive feedback.
Speak Less to Say More
Brilliant public speakers use words economically to make an impact. Remove all unnecessary fillers. Respect your time and the time of your audience. Avoid hesitating unless you want the audience to reflect on some point. Stick to your speech plan, refrain from adding points on the fly and speak only on your desired topic. Do not add extra examples and stay away from straying off course.
Public speaking changed my life, and I hope it will change yours.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Matthew Capala is an Internet marketer, growth consultant, entrepreneur, international speaker, trainer and author. He is the founder of SearchDecoder.com and Adj. Professor at NYU, where he teaches advanced graduate course on search marketing. Matthew writes for several leading publications, including The Next Web, ProBlogger and Sparksheet, and was featured on global media outlets including the Huffington Post. He has helped many of the world’s biggest brands to spur unprecedented online growth, including Apple, LG, Western Union, Prudential and many more. He is the author of Amazon best-selling book, “SEO Like I’m 5,” and recently launched his SEO online course available at IWillTeachYouSEO.com. A version of this post originally appeared on Medium. Connect with @searchdecoder on Twitter.
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