Public speaking isn’t a skill that you learn overnight. It takes a while to build a high level of confidence when talking to other people. You worry that you might say the wrong things. You also think about how people will think of you after your speech. If something is on the line, like investments for your company, you have even more reasons to be nervous. The good thing is you can build your confidence. It might not happen quickly, but you will get there. These tips will help.
Pretend like you’re speaking in front of others
It’s normal to have voices inside your head. You worry about too many things, and you sometimes talk to yourself. If so, try to think about doing it in front of others. It allows you to form thoughts you can share with others when given a chance. Even in regular conversations with friends, pretend that you’re talking to an audience. These people will laugh at your mistakes but won’t mean any harm. They’re your friends.
Write what you’re about to say
Writing everything you have to say might be easier. You have to read these notes when you start talking in public. However, it can be distracting as you have more public speaking engagements. You also lose confidence when you can't follow what you're supposed to read. It helps to have notes that serve as a guide when speaking. They will tell you where you are or what to say next. You will eventually feel comfortable discussing your ideas with a minimal guide.
Find a stage
Look for a stage where you can practice public speaking. For example, if you're at work, go to the conference room, where you will most likely share your thoughts with investors. It will make you feel comfortable with the idea of being on stage. You can also check if the venue has everything necessary to speak. For instance, projector stands are best to show the slides on a projector easily. You should also check the sound system since these issues can affect your performance. If you keep putting yourself in an uncomfortable environment to speak, you will get used to it.
Allow others to criticise you
The biggest fear you have isn’t public speaking per se. Instead, you worry about what others will say about your speech. This fear consumes you. The solution is to let others criticise you. Start with people close to you. Then, move to colleagues whom you’re not very close with. Tell them to be honest in their criticisms. Let them speak their truth and tell you where you’re wrong and what needs to change. Then, you won't be worried when you hear feedback from your future audiences. You already got yourself used to the concept. You will even ask for it.
Boosting confidence takes time. Prepare to fail many times, but never give up. You also can’t let one negative comment stop you from public speaking engagements. You still have the chance to improve. Use each appearance as an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.