Confident Public Speaking: Check This “Avoid At All Costs” List

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In the pursuit of confident public speaking skills, it is important to accept that nervousness may never be completely eliminated in some public speakers. This is not necessarily bad. A certain amount of nervousness can be positively channeled to enhance performance.

Nevertheless, confident public speaking does involve learning not to betray one’s nervousness through obvious body signals.

Familiarize yourself with the items in the list below and either check yourself through a video playback of your next presentation or have a close friend or colleague critique your presentation by looking out for these indicators that betray a lack of confidence in public speaking.

Mannerisms and Awkward Gestures

As well as destroying your professionalism, they can be very distracting for an audience. Get a friend or partner to alert you if you begin doing any of the following:

stand with one leg wrapped around the other
stand on the sides of one’s shoes
keep touching the nose, mouth, ears, or any part of the face
lean on the speaker’s stand using it as a prop
keep putting hands in and out of pockets
fiddling with one’s wrist watch
repeatedly swallowing
buttoning and unbuttoning the jacket
standing with hands clasped behind the back

Visual Aid Dangers

If you use a flip chart, whiteboard, or projection screen, avoid constantly fiddling with the marker pen, mouse, or projector control as if they were worry beads. This can be distracting and betray a certain nervousness.

Far better to have your hands free, only picking up the marker or control when you intend to use it and then put it back again on the table or speaker’s stand.

Using your hands deliberately for descriptive or emphatic gestures will be far more effective than haphazardly waving a marker pen or projector control in the air.

What Do You Do With Your Hands?

Confident public speaking means you know what to do you with your hands.

When you are not using them to gesture, let them hang by your side loosely and naturally. They won’t remain there for long if you are giving an animated presentation.

Your hands and arms will frequently be moving, gesturing, but in between times, just let them hang loose, ready and waiting.

Concentrate On Ideas

Confident public speaking involves the ability to concentrate on expressing your IDEAS rather than exact words. Doing this will go a long way in helping you avoid the mannerisms noted above.

This will allow your delivery to flow which makes it easy on the ears and listenable as opposed to a stop/start style of delivery.

Apart from your introduction and conclusion which require more attention to exact wording, thorough preparation and total immersion in your subject will allow you to speak extemporaneously without worrying overly about exact word choice.

The latter can result in a speaker gazing into the air fumbling for the right word which in time will destroy the concentration of the audience.

Even if you don’t feel you are confident in public speaking, you don’t have to advertise the fact. Use the checklist above to spot and avoid obvious signs of nervousness and you will at least leave the audience relaxed and engrossed rather than distracted.



About The Author

Michael A. Jones has compiled an inexpensive coaching manual complete with Analysis Questionnaire:

Michael has also personally benefited from this Public Speaking Course ranked No. 1:

For personal development listen to “The Program Of Presidents”:

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