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Dynamic Public Speaking-Increase Your Confidence

Jan 9, 2008
If you are interested in public speaking then you are ahead of many people. Most of them are afraid of public speaking. However, you can boost your confidence to be the kind of speaker that can engage an audience and carry a message.

You might prepare for days or weeks and then on the day of the presentation you find that you are still not ready. This worry shows up as lack of eye contact, poor posture, strained vocal quality and other symptoms of anxiety. The content of your presentation may be terrific, but if you are highly anxious, your audience will pay more attention to these symptoms than to what you have to say.

Lack of confidence also affects how comfortable the audience is with you. Audiences view confident speakers as more competent, while hesitant speakers are seen as less credible. If you want your audience to believe your message and have a positive feeling about listening, you need to boost your confidence.

Here are some strategies for managing speech anxiety.

1. Be Well prepared-Analyze what your audience wants and organize your speech and visual aids to serve their needs. Then, PRACTICE IT.

2. Warm Up-Sing up and down the musical scales, or read aloud a page from a book while varying your pitch, volume and rate. Shrug your shoulders up by your ears and then relax. These exercises help you speak in a fluid, natural manner.

3. Breathe Deeply-Before you talk, breathe in deeply through your nose and then deliberately slow your breath as you exhale through your mouth. During your speech, take a deep slow breath whenever you need to.

4. Relax Your Audience-Most speakers find that as soon as the audience relaxes, they get more comfortable, too. That's why many speakers start their presentation with a joke. If you don't tell jokes, open with a brief story about how you became interested in your topic.

5. Think More of Others- Keep this greatest secret always at the front of your mind. Rather than worrying what the audience thinks about you, try to know what they want. Look out for any expressions of confusion and clear them up by slowing down or repeating your last statement. If you are busy thinking about the audience, you wont have time to get too anxious for yourself.

6. Remember Your Visual Aids- Good visual aid help you remember your points and focus attention on your message. They also help to keep you too busy for mental self-criticism.

7. See Yourself Successful-Instead of fearing the worst, use your imagination to generate a positive experience. Before any presentation, imagine or musing your speech in its entirety, and see whether it is coming out well. Imagine and feel confident, be happy, while your audience listens with interest. Your brain doesn't know the difference between real and imagined experience.

Don't be anxious by trying to hold all of these tips in your head. Just decide on what topic you need to work on each time, until they all become part of you. With each opportunity, you all find you become a more confident and successful public speaker.
About the Author
Ranju is assistant editor at MindPowerMarketing.com, which helps entrepreneurs and independent professionals to earn more by making their marketing and communication more persuasive. For tips on more persuasive communication, sign up for the free eclass mastering public speaking "
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