If standing in front of an audience for a presentation causes you to feel butterflies or break out into a cold sweat, you’re not alone.
It’s believed that around 75% of adults are affected by a fear of public speaking.
But talking to new people is an important skill for the solopreneur.
It doesn’t matter if you have an audience of 1 or 100, you will need to be able to communicate your value with clarity.
Rethinking the way you speak can have a positive impact on your physical and mental performance.
While it’s true that it’s easier to surrender to you fears, you’ll be better off if you learn to face them.
For some, it only requires a little bit of effort to get past their fear of speaking.
Others need more effort and may even use some tips and tools to get through the process.
In this article, I will provide you with the 5 secrets for ensuring you sound confident during your next presentation.
1. Use Humour
Breaking the ice with a joke is a good way to to start things off.
Humour will relax your audience and get the presentation moving in the right direction.
It will help you relax and lighten the mood of the room.
Laughter somehow creates a bond, particularly if you are able to get the audience to join you in laughing at yourself.
Laughing at yourself is a way to humble yourself and when others join you, it creates trust.
Plus, laughter shows your audience that you are just like them.
2. Focus on Those that are Nodding
It can be a worry if you feel like you are not connecting with your audience.
If there are members in the audience that seem disinterested, it can be even worse.
Usually, though, you will be able to look out and see those who are nodding, which can be very reassuring.
When you focus on these people, it can help you feel more confident.
3. Be Expressive
Sometimes, no matter what you do to calm yourself, it doesn’t work.
One trick I like to use is to hide your nervousness by expressing your emotions.
If you are talking about something which excites you, play up that excitement.
Likewise, if you are talking about something that was disappointing, mention your disappointment.
You may find that it’s easier to hide your nervousness by using other emotions than it is to suppress it.
4. Practice makes Perfect
May people assume that public speaking is one of those skills that you either have or you don’t.
But you can develop the skill through practice.
Go around to some of the civic clubs in your local area and offer to speak for free.
Set up a video camera in the back to record yourself.
Then, afterwards, review the recording and see what you can do to improve in the future.
The more you speak, the better you will get- which means your confidence will begin to improve.
Those free talks might even find you a few new clients for your business.
5. Be Prepared for Mistakes
Even the professionals who have been speaking for many years make mistakes from time to time.
These mistakes are nothing to be embarrassed about.
In fact, they make you more relatable.
Mistakes make people see that you’re not that different from them.
If you are uncomfortable with your mistakes, the audience will notice and be uncomfortable as well.
If you learn to use those mistakes as an opportunity to laugh at yourself (as mentioned in tip number 1 above), it can help put your audience at ease.
Go ahead and prepare a comment ahead of time to help get past those mistakes.
If you tend to get nervous when preparing a presentation, you’re not alone.
In fact, it’s believed that 3 out of 4 adults feel this way.
But, you really don’t have to worry.
There are some things you can do to help yourself sound more confident when speaking in front of others.
Confident public speaking is a skill you can develop.
Just keep these 5 tips in mind next time you have the chance to get in front of an audience.