Boost Your Self-Esteem With Effective Public Speaking
There is no better way to boost your self-esteem and receive widespread social validation than to speak in public. Whether it is a wedding that you need to speak at or a professional gathering at your workplace, speaking to a group of people demands confidence, clarity and organization of thoughts and the ability to retain and share valuable information.
But don’t get intimidated by the previous sentence! Public speaking is not limited to the experts. Anybody can develop the necessary skills for effective communication and, thus, improve one’s confidence.
A group of researchers and psychologists suggest that the fear of public speaking is the most common fear that plagues many of us. In fact, for some of us, it is stronger than the fear of death. Stage fright, performance anxiety and the feeling of vulnerability are common factors that prevent people from speaking uninhibitedly in front of others.
Overcoming these fears and speaking confidently can result in personal as well as professional benefits. Personally, the art of effective communication and public speaking can lead to a better self-image, impart tremendous confidence and boost our emotional well-being. Professionally, it can help us better connect with our colleagues and team members and also validate our resume with an increased number of opportunities.
If you suffer from the fear of public speaking, here are a few tips that you could follow in order to overcome it:
- Work with your anxiety – There is a simple technique to overcome anxiety. Whisper these words to yourself – ‘I’m excited’. The human body shares the same physical properties when it is anxious and when it is excited. Hence, it is easier to transform your anxiety into excitement than trying to calm yourself.
- Gather knowledge about the subject – Whatever topic you need to speak about, make sure you do enough research and gather as much up-to-date material about it as possible. Once you have armed yourself with knowledge, nobody can find fault with your speech. This will make you feel safe and secure.
- Organize and practice – Organize all your material so you can present a coherent flow of ideas to your audience. And practice! Practice, practice, practice as much as you can. Stand in front of the mirror and practice. Sit in front of your close friends and practice. Ask your parents to listen to your speech and practice. Practice never goes waste. It will help you perfect your speech and be prepared for any unforeseen situations.
- Don’t be afraid of silence – If you end up being silent for a while during your speech, don’t panic. Don’t even think about what your audience is thinking. It is absolutely natural to fall silent as our mind pauses to think at times. In fact, audiences these days are mature enough to accept a momentary silence as they think that the speaker is taking a moment to gather his/her thoughts.
- Be comfortable – Wear something comfortable and choose a position that doesn’t confine your body language in any manner. Express yourself freely and don’t let your own judgmental thoughts block you.
- Maintain eye contact – Look at your audience in the eye before they look at you. Gain their confidence and establish a connection. This way, you will have the lead in your communication with them.
- Share valuable information or entertain – People respect speakers who either share valuable information or have a sense of humour. If you can inculcate both, you will indeed be a memorable speaker. Information is easily available on the internet these days. Ensure that whatever you share is valid and from authentic sources. Humour, just like public speaking, can be developed over a period of time with enough practice.
Another popular technique to improve your public speaking skills is to watch other people speak. Go to YouTube and search for videos of popular speakers and make notes on their speech. Observe their body language and mannerisms. A lot of film stars, entrepreneurs and politicians are very good at delivering speeches. Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has a captivating ability to woo his audiences and make thousands of people cheer for him. He has delivered more speeches internationally than any other contemporary Indian personality. Observe his public speaking skills and try to impart them in your own speeches.
We hope this blog will help you overcome your fear of speaking in public and boost your confidence. Do share your feedback in the comments section below and let us know what you think.