Public speaking with confidence

Peter Jensen

Nov 18 2016

Peter Jensen and work colleagues

Since starting my apprenticeship I have acquired many skills, from being able to make and answer phone calls effectively and efficiently, to having the initiative to make decisions that other people are finding hard to make.

However, much I have learnt, nothing will compare to the inherent fear I have got for public speaking. Public speaking is for most people, something that they dread and for me it is no different. That moment when you stand up in front of people and just freeze, having no thoughts rushing through your mind other than “Oh no, I’ve forgotten what I was going to say”. This, however, is something that I have learnt how to (somewhat) overcome and I am going to hopefully give you some tips on what to think before speaking and how to prevent yourself from being too scared.

The first and most important tip is to practice what you are going to say beforehand. Try asking people around you if you can practice in front of them; work colleagues or parents. After that, if you can recite every word without pausing then you have rehearsed well enough. If you can’t then maybe try to rehearse more until you can, or use my next tip.

Next is to use cue cards. This point is a bit controversial, as some people may not want to use cue cards, but if you don’t mind then they can be a helpful tool, especially if you are struggling to rehearse your presentation.

Next is to think that you have completed your presentation successfully beforehand. If you visualise success then you are more likely to achieve it, plus, it helps you keep those negative thoughts of failure out.

If you act confidently then you will come across as confident. The audience will not be able to detect your nervous ticks, so don’t let them even get a chance. If you display assertive body language like sticking out your chest, using hand gestures to emphasise your point and smiling, then you have a much better chance of getting the audience to like and respect you making it much easier to give the rest of your presentation.

And remember, you are the only person who knows what you are going to say!