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How to increase confidence for successful public speaking?

Many people worry a lot before and during public speaking. Beginning speakers worry that they will not be understood, will not be listened to or taken seriously, or even ridiculed. The reason for this is insecurity. People with low self-esteem are constantly uncomfortable, suffer from various anxieties and fears, doubts, intrusive thoughts. A difficult emotional state is expressed in a feeling of helplessness, powerlessness. Self-confidence is a mandatory requirement for successful public speaking.

Confidence from the psychological point of view

Everyone, even experienced speakers, struggles with insecurity from time to time. The desire to prove themselves, to take risks, to try something new is often suppressed by the fear of experiencing embarrassment, to hear rejection or criticism. Thus, a person remains in a familiar state - proven and safe, but absolutely unpromising for someone who dreams of becoming a persuasive speaker.

Psychologically speaking, there are several criteria for confidence in the field of public speaking. A person who is not afraid to step outside of their comfort level:

  • he or she doesn't compare him/herself to other speakers - focuses on how he feels about him/herself; 
  • knows how to refuse inappropriate requests from listeners - helps to increase stress resistance, prevent emotional burnout and depression;
  • watches his/her appearance, observes personal hygiene, carefully selects clothes, shoes and accessories - always looks impeccable both in public and in everyday life;
  • observes posture, gait, non-verbal signs in communication, makes eye contact and smiles often when interacting with the audience;
  • does not need other people's attention - praise, motivation;
  • is not afraid to ask for help in preparation for public speaking - understands his/her weaknesses, boldly turns to more experienced, inspirational speakers;
  • never gives up after unsuccessful public performances - any obstacles on the way to the goal are perceived as mandatory barriers to overcome;
  • is not afraid of making mistakes and is able to adjust competently to unforeseen circumstances - admitting one's own wrongness does not affect one's self-value;
  • appreciates even minor victories, is able to praise and internally support himself - even in an unsuccessful public performance he will always find positive aspects.

A confident person is always open to something new. He or she knows for sure that one cannot succeed without even trying. Confidence is the realization and acceptance of one's strengths, useful skills and individual characteristics. Understanding what is missing to achieve the goal helps to better understand yourself.

How to increase confidence

The good news for self-doubting speakers is that confidence is not an innate personality trait. This ability can be developed. There are some simple but extremely useful recommendations for those who want to become a professional speaker.

  1. Do more, rather than waiting. The inner critic can convince the speaker that neither the audience nor himself will categorically dislike the performance. This fear is inherent to a greater extent perfectionists. It arises when there is a desire for results, but there is no effort. As soon as the speaker moves to active actions and begins to praise him/herself for diligence, very soon he/she will realize that he/she is ready to perform. Waiting for inspiration, a sudden burst of energy or a fortunate coincidence of circumstances can last indefinitely.
  2. Do not be afraid of mistakes. The desire to perform at the highest level is an undoubted plus, motivating to qualitative and attentive preparation. But it is counterproductive to exhaust yourself with the desire to achieve the ideal. It is simply impossible to foresee and plan absolutely everything. It is better to focus on maximum dedication. Even if something goes wrong, it is possible that in the end it will lead only to the best. The main goal of any speaker is to deliver their thoughts and have fun while doing so.
  3. Doing things that are scary. Stepping outside of your usual comfort level is a direct path to increased confidence. Many speakers, having experience speaking on a specific topic, stubbornly refuse to look into other avenues. The same reaction is seen, for example, when offered a change of venue or a larger audience - all the same familiar conditions of a once successful presentation.
  4. Know your strengths and focus on them, not what you lack. A confident speaker knows what he/she is capable of captivating the audience with, because he/she emphasizes exactly what he/she is good at. Some people present information in an original way, improvise well, while others boast a well-honed speaking technique.
  5. Give yourself permission to dream big. Dreams are a source of energy with which you can and should achieve your goals. Dreams of unrivaled oratory skills, speeches at large venues in front of huge audiences are natural for any aspiring speaker. At these moments, it is not necessary to sigh sadly and convince yourself that this is just a beautiful fairy tale, a nonexistent reality for yourself.

We must not forget that insecurity is not an insurmountable obstacle, not a fixed and stable personality trait. The human psyche gets used to the proven conditions of life. It only seems that to change their internal attitudes - it is difficult and not everyone can. Inside everyone slumbers unlimited potential, which is capable at any moment of life to grow into a full-fledged professionalism. The main thing is to trust your desires and start acting!

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Ekaterina Kardakova

Hello everyone! My name is Ekaterina Kardakova. I am an opera singer, vocal and presentation coach. Learn more about me and my work.

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