Speaking with confidence is very important to being truly effective in your personal and business life. Acquiring skills in public speaking can also help in gaining confidence in day to day conversation.
However, there is a stumbling block for many of us. It is the fear of public speaking. But in overcoming that fear it helps with our everyday communications, such as speaking to groups, presenting at work, social gatherings, family discussions, interviews etc.
The skills attained from public speaking such as preparing your speech and presenting in a clear and effective way are the same skills required to being effective in other speaking situations.
Speaking with confidence comes from making the decision to make the first step. The first step need only be brief, you may only give your name and position or something similar and the first bud of confidence will appear. With careful nurture that first bud will bloom into a truly confident speaker.
I have made a number of recent posts on how to speak with confidence:
How to use your voice to speak with confidence
How to use your body language to convey confidence
The importance of preparation and preparation in confident public speaking
Eric Dana Hansen in a comment to my post on how preparation and practice build confidence made a great suggestion on how meeting the audience before you speak can help with overcoming the nerves.
Nerves, jitters or fear felt about speaking in public probably never goes completely away. This is a good thing! As many experienced speakers mention the feeling before they start to speak. However, the feeling is usually not as strong and they use it s a motivation to deliver their best.
Speaking with confidence comes from doing, practicing, preparing and learning the techniques of confident and effective speaking. Most people have the ability within them to become confident public speakers and in conversation. It starts with the decision to get started.