How do I gain public speaking confidence?

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Confidence comes from action – find a place to practise

How can you become a more confident public speaker? I’m Shola, thanks for tuning in. I’m a public speaking coach based in the UK, and I am also a professional speaker. Now how do you get more confidence as a speaker? Well, a number of things. First of all, of course, you need to practice. So you need to find a place where you can speak regularly without being afraid, where you’ve got a supportive audience. That could be a local public speaking club. It could be a workshop that you attend. It could be something like Toastmasters. Could be that you gather a few of your friends together or work colleagues. There’s a lot of ways that you could find a group and get that opportunity to speak and practice regularly.

Have frameworks or systems to help you become a great speaker

Now, on top of that, I always say to my clients that you need some sort of framework or formula that’s going to help you to be a better speaker. When I started out as a speaking coach, I wrote a book which is called How to be a Diva, D-I-V-A, at Public Speaking, and it contained a framework that I have found personally very helpful for my speaking. Because quite often when we’re speaking, especially when we’re new to it, we’re wondering if we’ve ticked the boxes. We’re wondering if, are going to be boring? Are we going to forget something? Do we have a decent structure? Those sorts of questions can get in the way of us doing a good job. So I like to use little frameworks and models and formulas and things. I have a background, I studied chemistry, so I like recipes and formulas and things. That’s just the way I work. But my diva framework, or my diva formula will help you to make sure that you’ve ticked all the boxes, and you’ve got everything ready when you’re presenting, when you’re speaking.

Learn my D.I.V.A. system – be DYNAMIC

So in terms of your delivery as a speaker, for things that diva recommends, the first one D, D stands for being dynamic. So have you got some way for injecting a bit of life when you present? So it could be that you perhaps use colorful language, very descriptive language. It could be that you like to be interactive. That’s the one I like to go for. So I started out as somebody who didn’t want to speak for long periods of time, so I always would have some interactive sessions where there were periods where people got to speak in pairs or do activities. And then I found that that really worked for me. And it actually became a regular part of my presentations because people enjoyed it. Not just because I didn’t want to speak the whole time.

Be more INSPIRING with stories and VALUABLE with content

So it might be, you want to be interactive. It might be that you want to… Maybe you’ve got a party trick like you sing or you do magic or something. Obviously not in the workplace necessarily, but there there are ways that we can liven up our presentation. So that’s D for dynamic. I is inspiring, and that’s about storytelling. So are you telling some stories, are you involving some human interest in your presentation? Even if it’s work related, even if it’s data, how can you get some storytelling in there to involve your audience emotionally? Then we’ve got V, which is all about value. So have you done a bit of audience research? Do you know what they need? Do you know what they want? Do you know what message you are going to share with them? Have you organized your content properly so that it flows logically as you go through the presentation? So that’s about delivering value.

Be your AUTHENTIC self on stage

And then finally A is about being authentic, and authentic doesn’t mean you’ve got to be the same person that you are sitting on the sofa as you are in front of the audience. We all change and adapt according to the situation that we’re in. But have you thought about who you want to be in front of your audience? Have you thought about the values that you have for yourself as a communicator? So you want to be thinking about those values and then finding a way to be that when you’re presenting. So for example, I like to be relatable. So I like to tell stories and I always share that I struggled initially as a speaker because people can relate to that. So who do you want to be as a presenter? You might have three or four different values that you want to share with your audience when you’re speaking.

I teach this framework to boost your confidence and help you tick all the boxes when you speak

So that’s the diva framework, dynamic, inspiring, valuable, authentic. So if you can tick those boxes when you present, and then you make sure that you are rehearsing regularly so you don’t turn up feeling a bit out of it because you haven’t rehearsed enough. If you can tick those boxes, plus the rehearsal, you’ll probably be in pretty good shape for your presentation, and you can feel confident that you’re fully prepared and you’ve got everything in place to be successful. So that’s one way of gaining public speaking confidence. There are probably many others, but that’s how I help my clients. So I hope that’s helpful to you and stay in touch. Take care. Bye.

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Shola Kaye is an award-winning speaker, author and professional speaker coach with clients around the world. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and on the BBC.
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