Speaking with confidence is a very valuable tool
Here are some simple and effective tips that would help you speak with confidence:
1. Prepare way before your speaking engagement. It is best if you are the one who wrote your speech so as to master it, but if you asked somebody to write it for you, review it thoroughly. If it is not a memorized speech you will deliver, master it anyway.
2. Practice. 'Practice makes perfect' as they say. Read your speech to someone or a small group, probably your friends. Ask for feedbacks and constructive criticisms. Consider their views and opinions and use them as insights for improvement. Or practice in front of a mirror.
3. Just before you step up the stage or before holding the microphone, take a breathing exercise. Take a few deep breaths to relax your mind and body. You could also do a little stretching to relax your muscles.
4. If it is possible, visit the place or spot where you will be delivering your speech prior to your speaking schedule and then rehearse. This will make you acquainted and be a little comfortable with the place.
5. Think positive thoughts. Nervousness would always linger, so to beat that negative feeling, substitute it with positive thinking, in this way of thinking it will affect feelings positively.
6. Make success your goal. If you have a clear goal in mind and determined to do whatever it takes to attain it, then you will. It is more ideal if you write down your goal with regards to your public speaking task. A goal written down is more likely to be achieved than a goal that merely floats in your head which could eventually fly away and be gone.
7. Concentrate on your audience and not on what they think of you. If you focus too much on what the crowd thinks of you, this will boost up your nervousness. You might be led to timidity where you ridiculously calculate every move you take and every word you utter. This will then lead to a series of mistakes that would eventually make your speech a total mess.
8. Establish credibility. The first step to build a trust with you audience is the way you look and present yourself, the way you dress up in your speaking engagement. 'First impressions last' as they say. If your audience sees you dress up so lousily, they would most probably assume that your whole speech would be lousy as well.
9. Avoid mumbling or talking too fast. When you feel nervous, your tendency is to mumble or talk fast. You should talk in a moderate rhythm, so your audience could follow you well and so you could get as much information into their minds. Say and enunciate your words clearly.
10. Avoid looking down too much or for a long time. This depicts a low self confidence. Face your audience, look them and the eye and connect with them.