How to find your confidence.
Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even good, but too much nervousness can be harmful. Here are some tips on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations:
1. Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in (news article). Know more about the information than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories (maybe you have been to the country you picked for example) and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using (poster board, cards). Work to control filler words like “um, ah, like.” Practice with a timer/watch and allow time for something unexpected to happen.
3. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive and remember they look forward to hearing you speak. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
5. Relax. Begin by addressing the audience (Hello class the country I will be presenting my current event on is …….). It gives you time to calm down. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. Turn your nervous energy into enthusiasm.
6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will increase your confidence.
7. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you!
8. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.
9. Concentrate on the message – not the medium (you). Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.
10. Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you — a confident leader and person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking.