Most people experience nervousness or fright when speaking. Whether you are talking to people you don’t know, or presenting to existing clients or coworkers, here are some steps to take to help you come across as confident and knowledgeable.
- Familiarize yourself with your subject: Go through your presentation repeatedly. Learn all you can about your subject so you can deliver your deep knowledge of it confidently. Your audience will sense that you know more about the subject than they do and you are keeping a considerable number of facts, ideas, and arguments in reserve.
- Believe you will do well: Believing in yourself is critical since it shows in your body language. Your expectation of doing well is a language that your audience will respond to instantly and clearly.
- Look at your audience directly: It might not be easy to do this from the beginning even if you are thoroughly prepared. Cast your glances almost randomly until you settle into your speech. When you’ve caught and held them, establish direct eye contact to judge their understanding of what you’re saying. This will help you change your delivery pace if need be.
- Don’t read from a sheet: Notes, a quick reminder of your point, are better than reading from a sheet. Reading from a sheet dulls your presentation, makes it sound boring and suggests unpreparedness. Prepare a list of subject headings that you can fill out as you speak. It shows you know what you are talking about.
- Speak clearly and don’t rush: It will help your audience assimilate your ideas easily and keep their attention on you. It will also make you appear confident. Regulating the level and tone of your voice keeps your audience interested. Project your voice and speak firmly without shouting. In the important passages, reduce your volume to get closer attention from your audience.