Building Confidence Before A Presentation

Contributed by Precious Williams

This post was originally published here and has been posted here with permission.

It’s completely normal for most speakers, beginners and proficient speakers alike, to readily admit to feeling nervous in the moments leading up to a big speech or presentation.

Public speaking is not easy, it can be very stressful.  It takes a whole lot of energy and confidence to do well during a presentation. Thankfully, confidence is not something you have or don’t have; it is a quality that can be learned and polished.

The ability to give a speech is one of the most valued business skills today. Let’s review some tips that can help build confidence and help you deliver an amazing speech each time.

Confidence Building Tips

  • Understand your fear. The key to knowing how to handle stress before a presentation is by understanding what makes you nervous. Once you have identified it, it won’t make you so nervous each time.  Psychologists have found that deeply confident public speakers actually see themselves that way in their mind.
  • Practice. The more you practice, the more confident will be and the better you will perform. Practice is experience, and you can’t help but gain self-esteem with the more experience you have. If you want to do well in something, work hard and practice.
  • Think success. Fear lives in our head.  We need to envision each speech as a success. When we picture it in our head then we can make it a real situation. Always be a winner in your head.
  • Dress and smell like success. The next time you need a boost of self-confidence, such as before you take the stage for a presentation, select clothing that makes you feel good. Clothing can positively impact your thoughts and moods and result in increased confidence. Also, take a moment to lightly spritz yourself with cologne or perfume before leaving the house. Scientists have discovered a link between self-confidence and olfactory cues (smell).
  • Strike a pose. When you expand your body, your mind starts to feel more confident and powerful and will begin to see those challenging situations not as threats but as opportunities. Good posture conveys to the audience that you are confident, credible, and sure of your subject. Speaking with proper posture also allows you to project your voice, making your speech clear and assertive.
  • Deep Breathing. Don’t underestimate the power of a long, slow, deep breath. Since anxiety tightens the muscles in the chest and throat, it’s important to diminish that restricting effect with deep inhalations. In the moments leading up to your presentation, breathe deeply and deliberately.
  • Smile. A smile conveys confidence and self-assurance. It shows your audience that you’re happy to see them and enthusiastic about your message. Smiling will increase the endorphin levels, boost calmness and reduce stress and anxiety.

The Confidence Takeaway

Confident public speaking and fearlessness are not given to us by someone, they are honed through practice and preparation.  Confident public speaking means that you are prepared, fearless and energetically confident that your message is important Being fearless is not about a lack of fear. It’s about taking that fear and transforming it into excitement and energy around your message.

Precious will be joining us for eCoaching on February 26. Join us and learn how to have #RockstarConfidence. Register here.

Contact Precious to learn how she can help you solve your pitching, presentation, and communication challenges. 

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