In this blog post I will focus on a very important quality of a successful speaker. Draft version of this article was originally written as a speech a few years ago. It was my second speech in Istanbul Toastmasters Club.
Among our friends or in clubs like Toastmasters, we deliver our speeches in a very secure and friendly environment. We will get applause or approval in any circumstances. But outside, we can meet very cruel audience. Indeed, they can be very cruel. If they feel that you are not secure or you are not confident or you do not believe in what you are saying, you might have trouble with them.
You may be very well prepared, you may have very interesting topic, and you may know your topic pretty well. But… if you do not show self-confidence, which is an essential quality of a good speech, you are risking your success. Therefore, demonstrating self-confidence from the very beginning is a matter of the great importance to successful speakers.
I have prepared 7 practical tips on how to demonstrate self-confidence. Let's move on.
1. Get beliefs which empower you and stay connected with them
To be able to demonstrate self-confidence, you are expected to be a self-confident person, right? Otherwise, it would be difficult to pretend it. However, if you are not naturally self-confident, you need to get something. Something that empowers you. Something that encourages you and forces you to become more than average. These are beliefs. They can be so powerful.
Choose your empowering beliefs carefully and plant them in your mind and in your heart. Be sure to stay connected with your beliefs preferably on a daily basis. You may want to write them too. This is about your communication with your own self. This is the first most important thing.
2. Get excited about your topic
Excitement is generally considered as an excuse for a bad performance. It is actually a fuel for a good speech. But, excitement about what? There is just one excitement you should have which is excitement about your topic!
Feel your topic, get excited about it and visualize it before standing on a stage. So your audience will feel your enthusiasm and your excitement about your topic and they will think that you really know what you are talking about.
3. Start and greet with energy
Greet your audience with high energy. Show your enthusiasm at the very beginning.
Smiling communicates that you are self-confident, you are enjoying yourself, and you are a friend.
Even if you don't feel smiling, just fake it.
5. Use confident body language and stage usage
Audience will judge you even before you open your mouth. Communication is not just with words. According to the researches, really very small percentage of our communication is actually performed with oral language. There are other subtle forms of communication like body language.
Therefore, pay attention to how your body speaks. Be sure your back is straight enough and shoulders are a little bit back.
On the stage, do not try to hide yourself back. Instead, come to the front of the stage and do not stick on just one place. Use your stage freely. It is your field.
6. Make eye contact
If you are addressing to a small group, try to make eye contact with everyone. However, stay more connected with people who are more responsive and more positive to your message. Because you will get positive energy from them.
7. Watch your language
Someone once said to me "if you are given a microphone, believe that you are the best" and I can add this, if you are on the stage, believe that you are an authority on your subject.
Use your language as an authority does. Instead of saying: "Can I ask you a question?", just say: "Let me ask you a question" and go on. An authority never asks permission.
Do not apologize for nothing like "Sorry, I forgot this part of my speech". Nobody knows that you forgot any part of your speech. Why to apologize?
Never use a self-destructive language like this. In other words, don't be against to yourself, never ever.
By demonstrating self-confidence you will gain respect of your audience. And this will make things easier for you.
Finally, know that self-confidence is really very crucial not just for public speaking, but for life.