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Categories: Creating Confidence

Faking Confidence When Speaking in Public

Fantastic Friday – confidence, it is fantastic to fake it until you make it when speaking in public.

Each Fantastic Friday throughout the month of October, I will be writing articles about faking confidence until you make it in various situations. This week will be dealing with speaking in public. Upcoming articles will deal with faking confidence:
at  networking events
in front of clients
with professional peers
It is my hope that by teaching you to fake the confidence, you will be able to get the job done and as a result, develop the real confidence you will need in the future.
I am sure you have heard it said on more than one occasion that speaking in public is a huge fear shared by millions of people. In fact, it has been said a great number of people would rather get root canal than speak in public! However, for many entrepreneurs, bloggers and professionals, speaking in public is something that must be done, a fear that must be conquered. So, let’s get to conquering. The first thing to do when you know you have to speak in public is to prepare. By prepare I mean that you need to do some basic investigation. This is a case where the questions every one learns in an introductory journalism or English class come in to play, the 5 Ws and an H:
1.     To Whom will you be speaking: you must tailor your message to the crowd. You would use one set of terms to industry professional or co-workers and another set if you were speaking at a high school career fair.
2.   What you are going to be speaking about: it is much easier to prepare the appropriate remarks if you know what you are going to be talking about
3.   Where will you be speaking: you have to know the logistics. It matters if you are in your hometown or a foreign locale. You must also consider if you are going to be in a large  space or a smaller office or conference room.
4.   When will you be speaking: it matters to you and your audience if you are speaking first thing in the morning or after they have listened to ten other speakers.
5.   Why you are speaking: there is a point to you sharing the information, there is a purpose for your words.
6.   How are you going to deliver your message. Consider any props, supplies, photographs and the like you will need to get your message across to the audience.
Once you have completed this initial preparation phase, it is time to get dressed. By getting dressed, I mean you put on your big girl panties and your fake it until you make it dress and move forward to get the job done. If you have done the research we just talked about, you are ready to do the speech. It is your job to do the speech. People have come to see you do the speech. All purposes are aligned.
When it is time to get up to do the actual talking, take a deep breath and walk slowly to where you will be speaking. Hold your head up high and walk with your back straight and strong looking. Walk to the speaking area looking like it is yours, like a runway model.  Smile as you approach the speaking area. If you are still nervous, smile and wave at your imaginary friend in the back of the room. This will make it appear as if you have friends, as if you have confidence. You appearing to have confidence, may help the audience develop confidence in you.
The final thing you need to keep in mind is, it is ok. By that I mean you may still be nervous,  that is ok. You may forget a point or get some ideas mixed up and out of place, it is ok. You are the speaker, just speak. If you are nervous because  you are not used to giving speeches, tell the audience, they will be sympathetic and cut you some slack. Just let them know, despite your nervousness, you know your stuff and if you work together this can be a good experience for all of you. You were chosen to do this speech, you prepared to do this speech, you are doing this speech, finally you have done this speech. Now, walk away from the speaking area and enjoy the praise and compliments that will be coming your way.
You can fake confidence when speaking in public. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday is what is your tip for speaking in public?
Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I'm so glad that you'll be covering the topic of public speaking this month! This is information that I really need because I am terribly shy and reserved in public, but I hope to grow out of that and get to a place where I have high confidence in all public situations. I'll be taking notes for sure! I love the tips and advice that you give here too! Just awesome! :)

    • I am glad you liked it. You say things so beautifully in your blog, if you talked like that, you would be amazing every time.

  • You should have given this to the POTUS the other night. No Dem slander just real talk.

    • You know I like the POTUS and I am voting for him, but he could have used a little help, you are right.

  • One tip that I heard a while back is that the audience is there to learn from you, they want you to succeed. They are not showing up to heckle you or harm you in anyway.

    Second tip: Yes, have slides but don't have every single word you are going to say on them. I use slides and just have pictures up to help me remember what I am going to say. I really can't stand when presenters read the slide.

    Third tip: Smile a lot. It's contagious and when you see everyone else smiling back at you, you'll actually believe tip #1.

    Stellar post and I love your topic for the month on Fridays!

    • I am glad you like the Friday topics for the month. I will try that smile tip. It seems like something easy to do if I can just remember it.

  • I love to speak to groups but still get a little nervous of course...it's all energy I use to propel me forward!

    Tips: 1) Know your material (that cuts down on a lot of nervousness) 2) Have props (slides, visuals or the like) and 3) Keep the audience engaged by asking questions, etc. When you make them part of the discussion and keep the engagement interactive, it helps the speaker as well...

    ~Kesha

    • Thanks for some good ideas. I like the one about keeping the engagement interactive.

  • I joined a public speaking group last January, and I have written and presented 5 speeches so far. I still get really nervous, but still continue because I know that practice makes perfect. Thank you very much for sharing these tips, and I will definitely use them. Regards, Conquering my "fear" of speaking in public.

    • Thanks for sharing the practice makes perfect idea. The idea of a public speaking group sounds intriguing. You will have to share some more info on that one.

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Janeane Davis

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