[NOTE: This article is meant to serve as a “Bonus” for the article, How To Be Confident And Relaxed When Speaking Before A Group Of People (Powerful Tips To Help You Become A Highly Effective Speaker/Presenter). To access that particular article, just go to: http://confidencetips-articles.blogspot.com ]
1. Allow your arms to move freely and naturally. (Avoid pre-planning your gestures.)
In other words, avoid “consciously” saying inside, “I will move my arms this way now. That’s what’s appropriate at this point.” Just allow your arms to move or gesture naturally. Avoid being conscious of them.
You can sometimes tell when your gestures don’t look natural to others. Your listeners will look at your arms or hands in a certain way (since their subconscious mind will detect something wrong or unnatural)””and sometimes, they won’t even know that they are doing it. In other words, they will have been distracted unnecessarily for a few seconds.
When you just allow your arms to flow freely and naturally as you speak, or as you are making a point, peoples’ eyes will be glued to your eyes or facial area…and not to your arms or hands.
2. As much as possible, avoid reading your speech verbatim (or word-for-word).
Instead, write down key words (the main points of your speech) to serve as reminders, in the order in which you will present them. Then just surrender to the moment. Trust your mind to deliver. Your speech will sound more natural, just like a typical conversation.
3. Ask with extreme confidence.
When asking the audience to do something (ex. asking the audience to stand up, raise their hands, etc.), do it with extreme confidence…and not in a weak or embarrassed sort of way. Do it in such a way that they feel you expect them to follow…and that it is only right for them to do so.
For example, when you ask the audience to give the next speaker a warm welcome, be the first to clap your hands. The audience will naturally follow because they perceive you as being in charge. Besides, you’re only asking something that’s appropriate and reasonable.
4. Move in such a way that you don’t appear rushed or anxious.
Take your time when you move. Avoid appearing rushed. (When something falls on the floor, slowly and naturally pick it up as if it were not a big deal. Or if something goes wrong with the sound system or lighting, don’t panic. Deal with it in a calm and professional manner. In other words, don’t allow anything to distract you and negatively affect your composure.)
Remember, what matters most is how you handle yourself under pressure (or when something unexpected happens). When you remain composed no matter what happens, your audience will perceive you as a leader worthy of their respect. By your ability to stay in charge of situations, they will be even more receptive to what you have to say.
I mean, how would you feel if something unexpected happened, and the first to panic was the speaker? For example, if he was the first to run out the door as soon as the building’s fire alarm went off? (What’s worse is if it was only a false alarm.) Would you still respect the speaker, or have the same degree of respect for the speaker, although prior to his panicking, he was interesting (and composed)? Of course not.
Or if a mouse came out of nowhere and the speaker jumped up on a nearby table, screaming, “Get it out of here! Get it out of here!”…would you still have the same positive feelings for the speaker the way you did just prior to that shameful incident? Of course not.
People will almost always forgive you if you remain calm no matter what happens. And they are turned off by those who panic (or lose their composure) at the first sign of trouble/danger. People simply want to stay comfortable, and they usually draw that “sense of being comfortable” from others””especially, from whoever’s in charge at the moment. Being comfortable is contagious. Staying composed/relaxed is contagious.
5. Speak at a natural rate of speed.
Speak the way you would in conversation (assuming you don’t speak at a very fast rate in conversation). Sometimes, speaking too fast as a whole can make you appear nervous. It’s as if you want to get it over with as quickly as possible and just want to get out of there. Besides, speaking too fast may affect your audience’s ability to understand you. Your message may not come across clearly.
Of course, there are those who speak fast because they’re all pumped up…full of energy and enthusiasm. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m sure you can tell the difference between a very enthusiastic type of speaker and one who speaks fast because of nervousness.
6. Walk at a natural pace…not hurried.
The key word here is natural. What is natural, or what feels natural, to you. Do this and you will appear cool, calm, and collected.
Of course, this will depend on the energy level you wish to bring across to your audience. A lot of motivational speakers come out running onto the stage before speaking…and they may do this to show how motivated and energized they are. And that’s okay if that is what you are used to doing, and it feels natural to you…and if that’s what’s appropriate for the type of speech or talk you’ll be making. (The key is: It must feel natural to you. Because if it does, it will look natural to others. It won’t look forced or planned.)
7. Make your speeches/presentations informal and conversational.
Avoid making your speech so “formal” sounding (which tends to end up sounding boring). Speak like you would in conversation. Just relax. Let go. Be comfortable. Then your listeners will be comfortable, too.
8. Stand upright with chest high.
Your stance/posture affects your physiological state, therefore stand the way you would if you were extremely confident. Don’t slouch (unless, of course, you are experiencing back problems””or you have a bad back condition), because it’s hard to feel on top of things when you do.
Besides, good posture helps in exuding an air of confidence.
9. Relax any tension in your body.
If you notice any tension in your body, whether it be before or during a speech, immediately relax those muscles. If you feel your jaw or neck starting to tense up, or you feel your shoulders doing the same, consciously relax them.
Simply think “relax.” Focus on those tense areas, then think “relax.” Unnecessary tension in the body (or more use of energy than is required) will obviously not be helpful to your performance.
10. Learn to laugh at your mistakes (when you do make them).
Since you’ll most likely laugh at them someday, anyway…laugh at them now. Avoid taking yourself too seriously. Learn from your mistakes, then move on.
Stand-up comedians are excellent examples. When they make a mistake, they would just incorporate the mistake into their performance as if it were also one of their prepared jokes (or part of their act). And the audience members would laugh not knowing the comedian actually made a mistake.
Gabriel Daniels publishes Confidence & Courage Tips…To Help You Realize Your Dreams. For tips, strategies, stories, quotes, and more…to empower and inspire you to take action…so you can get what you want out of life, visit his website at: http://confidencetips.blogspot.com
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