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Faking confidence when speaking in public for the absolute beginner

Do you shiver and shake when asked to say a few words in front of 100 people? Do squadrons of butterflies invade your stomach at the thought of making a speech? Most people fear making a speech and you are not the only person who is paralyzed at the thought of speaking in public.

If you can't sleep the night before delivering a five-minute verbal status on your project or
department at a professional event, then you can fake confidence in public speaking. Take heart in the fact that your audience wants you to succeed as a speaker and understands that we all fear public speaking to some degree.

To help you succeed at your speech here are four simple techniques that will help you to present confidently while the butterflies flit through your abdomen.

First, take the pressure off yourself. Abe Lincoln has already delivered the Gettysburg address. You don't have to make history with this speech. Your speech will convey some information and entertain some people for a few minutes. The world will not change if you stumble a bit or leave out a key point. Relax, do the best you can, and let the chips fall where they may. You can read your speech, smile and make eye-contact to effectively present your communication. Don't lose sleep over this presentation. You will do fine.

Second, write you speech on 3x5 notecards. Write your speech out and highlight the few key words that you can glance at during your speech to keep on track. Rehearse your speech at least five times in private so that you are comfortable with your speech. If you include a personal story in your speech, do not read it from the cards. Tell the story from your memory while looking at the audience. You already know the story and so you can tell it without reading it.

Third, understand the 10x phenomenon. Craig Valentine (the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking) coined this term and explains the 10x Phenomenon as "what is happening inside you is 10 times more amplified than what the audience actually perceives... They probably do not even notice that you are as nervous as you really are". Please understand that you don't have to be completely calm in order to speak confidently in public. You can stand behind a lectern if your body is shaking so that your audience does not see your knees applauding. Take comfort in the 10x phenomenon and accept your nerves as you speak.

Fourth, talk to your audience. Before you take the stage walk around and introduce yourself. Talking warms up your voice, calms your nervous energy and takes your mind off the upcoming speech. Try to keep talking until you give your speech.

Follow these proven strategies to make your presentation. After you hand the microphone back to your Master of Ceremonies, feel proud. You showed a lot of courage to speak in public and anyone who steps up to this challenge absolutely deserves to bask in the speaking high that comes with a completed speech. Well Done!!.

Improve your communication skills when using PowerPoint® at www.waynebotha.com. Wayne Botha grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Connecticut, USA. Wayne is a speaker and author. Wayne is a Faculty member at District 53 Toastmasters Leadership Institute and has earned the 53 Triple Crown Award for two consecutive years from Toastmasters in District 53. Colleagues and audiences frequently tease Wayne about his funny accent.

Published September 2007.
Copyright 2018 Wayne Botha Email Wayne Cell: 860.214.4897