If you can communicate clearly and develop your confidence, says Featured Speaker Joel Schwartzberg, you can be an outstanding public speaker.
Confidence is captivating. When a speaker is confident in their knowledge, their presentation and their communication and speaking skills, it shows—and the audience responds.
We all know that some inner work goes into building confidence. However, did you know that you can convey confidence without necessarily feeling it?
Obviously, being genuinely confident is best, but you can give the impression of confidence to your audience, thus supporting your expertise status and boosting your confidence level at the same time.
Non-verbal communication, also known as body language, is the way our bodies tell another person about whom we really are and what we really think. In this non-verbal way, we speak volumes to others.
Do you have your arms folded across your chest? People are less likely to approach you, as you seem closed off and not open to them. Funny story about this: A friend of mine easily feels cold, so she often has her arms crossed in an effort to stay warm. Another friend of ours, upon seeing this, at first thought she was angry!
A person with their arms at their sides, or waving their hands through the air while talking, is far less intimidating. And this works from the stage, too.
Conveying confidence is something you can practice. Stand in front of a mirror and smile. Notice how you look. Would you want to listen to you?
Now practice standing up straight, shoulders back, eyes forward. Good posture is a good practice to develop. Being all scrunched up and hunched over with a frown on your face is no way to live (and it is bad for your health). Pretend there is a string in the top of your head pulling you up. Now smile. There, you look great!
Don’t know what to do with your hands? Don’t put them in your pockets. That makes you look like you’ve got something to hide, or in other words, it makes you seem dishonest. You don’t want that! Keep your hands at your sides and fidget-free to make the best impression. Of course, the occasional hand in pocket gesture won’t hurt, but don’t make it your standard stance.
What’s so cool about practicing looking confident is that these motions get to work on your brain chemistry making you actually more confident. Dr. Amy Cuddy, an expert on the behavioral science of power, presence, and prejudice has discovered that your body’s posture can make you feel more or less confident. When you slouch or contract your body, you decrease your sense of confidence. Conversely, by pulling your shoulders back and standing up straight, you give the impression you are a confident person. And when you do this over time, you actually increase your sense of confidence.
Smiling is another outside-in technique that is supported by research. When you smile, you release chemicals in your brain that reduce stress, relax your body, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and even reduce pain. So practice smiling … and feeling the joy that facial expression conveys. Besides, smiling is contagious and makes others feel better being around you, too!
Working on your delivery is just as important as honing your message. “I think you’re born with a message,” says Featured Speaker Steve Gamlin, “but actually conveying that message with confidence is something that you have to really work on.”
Non-verbal communication is a skill that anyone can learn. Become more confident today by putting just one idea from this post into practice. In a short time, you will develop your own style of body language that conveys confidence authentically. Remember: actions speak louder than words.