How to Speak Confidently in Public

1. Redefine your audience

Redefine your audience generally means
changing how you see your audience.
Instead of seeing them as lecturers who
are evaluating you, maybe you can
convince yourself that they are all fellow
students who are in queue to present
after you. They are all equally nervous
so there is no reason why you should be
too.
Or perceive them as long lost friends
that you haven’t seen for 10 years. This
way you can maintain eye contact trying
to figure out where you have seen him
before. To the audiences, they will see a
very friendly and personal presentation.
Do not try to convince yourself that they
are babies in diapers or that nobody is
around as suggested by some books. It is
very hard to convince yourself that no
one is around when you are actually
speaking to them.

2. Know your subject.

Part of making
yourself a comfortable and dynamic
public speaker is to make sure you know
what you’re talking about and you know it
well. Lacking knowledge can make you
anxious and uncertain when you’re
speaking and that will come through to
your audience.
Preparation is key. Take your time
when you are planning your speech to
make sure that it flows naturally and
logically. You’ll also need to make
sure that you know how you’re
coming across while giving the speech
and heighten your good qualities while
downplaying the less good qualities.
Even if public speaking is something
like having to answer a question in
class, you will still need to make sure
that you know your subject. This can
help you feel and present as more
confident, which will make a good
impression on your listeners.

3. Know your speech.
Knowing your
speech is just as important as
knowing the subject you’re giving the
speech on. There are also different ways of
giving speeches, so you’ll need to pick the
way that works best for you.
To give a speech, you’ll need to either
have some sort of note cards or
outline. Or you can do it from
memory, if that is something that you
do well (don’t try this if you aren’t
super confident you can do it).
You don’t need to write down every
single thing on your note cards (leave
a little room for improvisation),
although it can be helpful to make
notes of things like “pause after this
information” or “remember to breathe”
so that you actually remember to do
those things.

4. Make mistakes intentionally

This is another trick I encourage you to
try. Once I “accidentally” dropped my
notes on the floor, and while picking
them up, I warned the audiences that the
presentation will be more confusing
after this. I heard some laughter from
the floor.
The idea is to gain control of your
audience. If you can make them laugh
and be more interactive with you, your
presentation will have that casual feel to
it which will make it more memorable
than others. Ultimately you will find it
easier to do.

5. Memorize your speech.

While you
don’t necessarily have to memorize
your speech or talking points, it can be a
great way to help you appear confident and
easy in your subject matter. Make sure that
you have enough time set aside to do this,
however.
Write out your speech over and over.
This method helps you to remember
the speech. The more you write it out,
the easier it will be to recall it. Once
you’ve written it multiple times, test
yourself on how well you remember it.
If there were parts you couldn’t
remember, write those specific parts
over and over again.
Break your speech down into smaller
parts and memorize each of those
parts. It is really hard to memorize an
entire speech in one go. The best
thing to do is memorize it in small
chunks (start with each bullet point,
and then move up to memorizing your
3 different main points, etc.)
Use the loci method. Break down your
speech into paragraphs or bullet
points. Visualize a picture for each
bullet point (like imagining a Harry
Potter if you’re talking about J.K.
Rowling’s influence on children’s
literature). Determine a location for
each of the points (like Hogwarts for
Rowling, a meadow for Stephenie
Meyer, etc.). Now you’ll progress
through the locations (you fly on a
broomstick from Hogwarts to the
meadow, for example). If you have
multiple things to say about each
specific point, then put them in
specific places around the location
(like a point about Harry Potter’s
popularity in the Main Hall, or the
effect she had on revamping the genre
in the Quidditch field).

6. Be impressive with personal
opinion

Just like blogging, everyone can copy an
article and paste it onto their blog.
However, people read blogs not only to
know about things happening but to
know what that particular blogger’s
opinion is on the matter.
When you speak or give a presentation,
try to squeeze in a few of your personal
thoughts on the matter. Of course these
should be prepared early on. However,
you should make it as if the ideas are
“just in” while you are presenting. That
will differentiate your presentation from
the rest, and when you see the interested
look on the faces of your audience, it will
elevate your presentation to another new
level, a level where you start having fun.

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