When you are speaking on a stage, there are two
rules which are very important:
- You should be confident
- You should APPEAR confident
And of course, the second rule is more important than the first. The seven tips given below (if followed) could make you appear oozing with confidence on stage, whether you are or not.
Open Hand Gestures
Keep your hands relaxed on both sides of your body. No gripping the lectern, clenching your hands together or fiddling with your clothing accessories or touching your body parts. These are all signs of nervousness. You need to add hand gestures as a part of your speech preparation and use it as planned.
Keep Good Eye Contact
Do not keep the eye fixed to one place or look down. Move your head and cover the audience completely when speaking. If all pretty things among the audience are sitting in one corner, prioritize and take a good decision.
You can crack jokes only when you are comfortable and cool or at least that is notion people have. Crack one or two jokes and audience will think you are confident. Also their laughter might even make you ACTUALLY confident.
Be Careful About Pauses
Do not let people understand that you are in a hurry to finish the speech. Give adequate time to the audience for understanding (or getting confused about) your points.
Avoid or Reduce Reference to Notes
A speaker without notes will always look very confident, knowledgeable and credible. Presentation of stupid points without notes will often impress people more than intelligent stuff read out from slides or paper. By heart your great or stupid ideas, whatever it may be. The audience will feel that you are speaking from your heart if you avoid notes.
Present Without a Lectern
Your gestures project your confident image and if there is a lectern or podium to hide it, what is the use of all the gestures? After your wonderful preparation, if you are behind lectern or podium or table, you are like a lion in a cage. Come out of it and be a lion of the jungle.
And last but not the least, the best tip:
Be ACTUALLY Confident
Build your confidence with adequate preparation and practice so that you don’t need to act confident.