Do you feel like a nervous wreck every time you have to speak in front of a crowd?
Want to know the secret to exuding confidence on stage?
Look no further, because we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to own that room like a boss.
Practice makes perfect
First things first, let's talk about the power of preparation. The renowned inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, has been famously quoted as saying, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
Translation: if you want to crush it on stage, you need to put in the work beforehand. This means practicing your speech, knowing your material inside and out, and anticipating any potential questions or objections.
Apple Founder Steve Jobs, known for his mind-blowing keynote presentations, was also renowned for his methodical presentation process. According to Ken Kocienda, a tenured Apple designer who worked alongside Jobs for over 15 years, Jobs’ secret to presentation success was viewing each keynote as a theatrical performance.
➡️ Want to learn the 5 rehearsal steps behind every Steve Jobs presentation? Click here.
Confidence is key
Up next, channel your inner Beyoncé and fake it 'til you make it.
Even if you're feeling nervous, it's important to project confidence. Stand tall, make eye contact, and use powerful body language. As Queen B herself once said, "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss."
Here are 5 tips to improve your body language:
- Open up your posture. Project confidence and poise with your posture by opening your chest and arms and straightening your spine.
- Use appropriate gestures. Use positive gestures, like mirroring or nodding, but avoid aggressive and inappropriate gestures at all costs.
- Maintain eye contact. While speaking, make eye contact with various audience members to help you form personal connections.
- Move around. Movement keeps your audience from getting bored and can also be used to encourage participation.
- Don’t forget to smile. Smiling is a sign of welcome and inclusion and tells people you are approachable and friendly.
Whether to a small group or a large crowd, take these tips to present with confidence and make your message heard.
Go with the flow
Now, it happens to all of us—the occasional brain freeze. So, what do you do when you inevitably forget a line or stumble over your words? Take the advice from Dory (played by Ellen DeGeneres) in Pixar’s award-winning animated film Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.”
In other words, don't let a small mistake throw you off your game. Just keep moving forward in your presentation and the audience will move forward with you.
Have a sense of humor
Finally, don't be afraid to bring some humor into the mix. People tend to put their guard down once you make them laugh. For Toastmasters World Champions of Public Speaking, this is a technique they deploy early and often because a little bit of levity can go a long way in putting the audience at ease and making you more relatable.
➡️ Learn the secret formula you’ll find in almost every World Champion of Public Speaking speech here.
Public speaking doesn't have to be a daunting task. By preparing thoroughly, projecting confidence, rolling with the punches, and injecting some humor, you'll be well on your way to owning that room like a boss.
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