When a speaker, by doing speech drills and having faced numerous audiences, has learned to control stage fright he speaks at a level of self-confidence and joy that a frightened speaker cannot reach.
We know that confidence builds confidence. This is true in various situations. And lack of self-confidence in a speaker or a persuader of any type will incite lack of that quality in a listener or a customer.
For instance, how much confidence would you have in a barber if he was nervous as he approached you with,a razor? Or what impression would a novice salesman make if he became red in the face and groped for words as he tried to sell? Will an entertainer be successful when stage fright controls him? Can a speaker who permits fear to prevent him from “putting his talk over” persuade listeners?
No. A clumsy, nervous, awkward method of. handling a situation is sometimes said to be poor showmanship. On the other hand, a good “showman” is said to be one who presents
his ideas and demonstrations smoothly and with such self-assurance that observers feel they are watching a master perform.
Inasmuch as “showmanship” is often associated with the stage some people erroneously believe that the term implies only trickery, illusion, or deceit. It really means, however, “The process of exhibiting things or ideas to advantage … to brighten . . . to make attractive.” A speaker who is an able showman “puts his talk over.” He “sells” it to an audience, not by trickery or deception but with forthright honesty, a mountain of self-confidence, adequate knowledge, and a smooth, natural manner of presentation which leaves no doubt in listeners’ minds that the speaker is in complete control of every situation.