Long: How do I learn to Speak with Confidence? Well, Speaking & Presentation events are physical, active, and frequently, emotionally involved experiences. If you Read a book about it, does that serve a purpose? Yes, but I don’t believe it’s a suitable alternative to physically Learning and Practicing skills, that enable you to Deliver a Skillful and Successful Speaking Event.
Reading, Lectures, NLP, DVD’s, Hypnotherapy and even Drugs may offer some assistance in understanding the puzzle: So then, How do I overcome my embarrassment, gain skills and Speak with Confidence? Well, I don’t believe that any of those previously mentioned suggestions are suitable substitutes for actually standing in front of a class or an audience of any size, and Speaking to them.
Speaking skillfully and confidently to a group, saying what’s on your mind can empower You and build your confidence. And maybe in the process, you will change attitudes, inspire action, or help solve a longtime problem faced by many in your audience. That’s a satisfying and a worthwhile goal. For example,
I can write suggesting that using your hands & arms when Speaking is a good way to emphasize important speaking points… and, how it also keeps the audience focused on you. Well that sounds pretty good, but How does that work in actuality when you try it? So, you ask: How often should I gesture? How big? How fast? How slow? What should my gestures look like? How will I know when my gestures look right?
You won’t know until you apply the “hands & arm’s” suggestion in a practical situation by doing them. How do gestures feel to you? Do some gestures fit your personality better than others? Watching yourself on video, with your Teacher or Coach, will help you answer those questions.
Importantly, what if you personally could benefit from a particular suggestion, but you don’t try it for the same reason you don’t Speak now because you feel uncomfortable Speaking in front of other people. And, the reality of standing in front of others, waving your arms in the air, is positively frightening. But remember:
Performance of Speaking© is a Learnable Skill.
In blog post #11 OJT, I suggest the best way to learn Speaking is by Speaking. Working with a Trainer or Coach can abbreviate your learning curve by leading you out of your “Comfort Zone” and into the new behavior of Confident Speaking & Presentation Skills.
Of course, you can continue in your present situation of not Speaking while feeling you’d like to be able to voice your opinions… but you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you were happy with your present situation. Right?