Public speaking can be so scary and intimidating that millions of people say they are more afraid of standing up and speaking in public than they are of dying! While many of you can speak in front of anybody, some of us need a little more help. The fear of public speaking can be remedied by changing the way you stand and move during your speech. Public speaking can awaken our deepest fears of rejection, this can cause many people severe anxiety. However, by changing our body language, these tips can give you an instant confidence boost that can help you overcome those fears.
Take Up More Room – When we are feeling self-conscious, we naturally tend to become “smaller.” We want to shrink away into the room so that nobody notices us. This means we may hunch over, hide in a corner and cross our arms and legs until we almost disappear. The best way to gain confidence before and during a speech is to physically take up more space than usual. If you are standing, take a wider stance than usual, put your arms on your hips. If you are sitting with a desk in front of you, use your arms to take up space. This will make you feel more powerful and instantly give you more confidence during your speech.
Stand Up Straight – Curving your back with fallen shoulders shows that you are either feeling down or unsure of yourself. By standing straight with your shoulders back you not only start to feel better about yourself, but it is the best pose for your back. Having good posture is relaxing because it feels good and it helps you fill your lungs with air so that you are able to speak easier.
Make Eye Contact – Nothing gives away your fear more than not looking at the person/people you are speaking to. Even if you are nervous at first, it is best to make as much eye contact with the audience. Whether you are speaking to 2 people are 2,000 people, look at the audience and try and make eye contact with them. Not only does this make you seem more confident, but you begin to realize that they are just people like you and there is nothing to be afraid of
Keep Moving – When you are stiff and standing behind a podium, it really means you aren’t comfortable in your own skin. Try and walk around and take up space on the stage. Move towards your audience and get closer to them when you really want to make a point about something. This shows that you have no fear. Plus, your speech becomes much more interesting since people are following what your body is doing.
Breathe Deeply – Before you walk into the room or onto the stage of your speech, it is smart to set your breath. Take 10 deep breaths in and out so that you set the pace for the rest of the speech. If you aren’t breathing deeply, chances are you won’t be able to speak fluidly either. Deep breathing will help you slow down as you speak so that you present yourself as cool, calm and under control.
Keep an Open Posture – Facing your audience with open arms will make them feel more welcome and will make you feel more confident. Crossing your arms literally puts a physical barrier between you and the audience. Always avoid crossing your arms when speaking in public, the audience won’t receive you as well when you are closed off and you will feel those vibes instantly.
Use Your Face – There are different facial expressions for every occasion, but starting off with a warm introduction is always a way to make you feel more comfortable in front of your audience. Smile with your eyes and your mouth. Not only do you make your audience feel more comfortable, but this small action will keep you in a positive state of mind during your speech. The happier and more positive you feel about yourself, the more self-assured you will feel during your presentation.