1. Know your topic
The best way to feel confident when you are speaking in front of others is to know your topic. When you know your topic well and feel strongly about it, talking about it will come easy for you.
2. Get prepared
Get prepared before you go up on stage. You want everything to go as smoothly as possible up there, so any minor setbacks won’t distract you. Go through your content thoroughly, practice and make sure you know your topic. If you have a slideshow presentation, make sure that everything is in order so that the slideshow work perfectly. A good idea is to double check this just before the presentation, so you don’t get any surprises up there and have to freestyle.
3. Practice Practice, practice, practice!
If you have not spoken in public before, a good idea is to practice a lot beforehand. This way you get comfortable with your own voice and the situation of talking in front of others. You can practice in front of the mirror, to a friend or even record your speech if you really want to nail it. A friend can give you some good feedback on the speech in order for you to improve before you go up on stage.
4. Training course
Have you considered a professional course in public speaking? This is definitely one of the best ways to get really good at public speaking. A training course will offer you a lot of tips on how to present and help you find your unique voice. There’s also usually a lot of practice in front of others, so that you get used to the situation of talking on a stage. A training course will be a game changer if you’re really willing to step up your speaking skills! Have a look at YWS public speaking courses if you’re interested in killing it on stage.
5. Speak from the heart
One of the best ways to feel safe and confident is when you truly speak from the heart. When you speak from your heart you will engage the audience and they will feel a connection towards you. There is also no need to memorize everything you have to say or get nervous about forgetting any of the important stuff. Anything important you have to say will show up naturally from your heart. This is really one of the biggest secrets behind the people who look like they were born to speak when they’re on stage. Manage this one and you will never be afraid again!
6. Engage your audience
You want to engage your audience when talking on stage. A great way to engage people is to ask them questions and try to build a conversation with them. This is also a good way to get more comfortable on stage, as you will feel that you’re rather talking with your audience and not at them. Let them know that you value their opinion.
7. Visualise success
A good confidence builder before you’re going to talk is to visualise your perfect speech. See yourself succeeding, staying confident on stage, knowing your topic, engaging the audience and the public clapping and praising your speech afterwards. Visualize this a lot. You can do it every morning and evening a week ahead of your speech.
8. Relaxation exercises
Just before you go on stage it’s really good to do some relaxation exercises. There are several breathing techniques you can use in order to find peace and stay calm. When you’re calm the minutes before you go on stage, you’re also likely to stay calm when you go up on stage. Don’t rush through your speech. Talk slowly, breathe and take frequent, small breaks.
9. Posture / Body language
Think about your posture when you’re on stage. You want to look confident. Stand tall, speak up and smile. Use hand gestures to engage your audience.
10. Be yourself
The last thing we want to advice you to do when it comes to public speaking is to simply be yourself. A lot of times people think they have to be someone else and take on a role when they’re on stage. However, in reality the best speeches are the ones where the speaker is natural and speaking from the heart. When you are yourself, you don’t have to be nervous. You can’t forget anything or make mistakes if you simply show up as yourself, share your thoughts and feelings around your topic and speak from the heart.