- Be a champion for your audience
- Adopt a confident physiology
- Bring your energy and enthusiasm
- Banish your inner critic
When we ask people what one quality they wish they had more of, the answer is almost always ‘confidence’.
Whether you want to sell an idea to your colleagues, influence a senior leader or present to any audience in any context, you can be a person of power.
But how do you build the confidence to become a strong presenter? Try these ideas.
Champion Your Audience
Nervousness and self-consciousness is typically a sign that your attention is more focused on yourself rather than your audience – perhaps because you’re worried about how they perceive you. How can you fix this? Well, the greatest compliment you can give someone is to have researched what is important to them. It’s true of any audience.
In relation to your topic, think deeply about:
- How will this help them be more successful in the areas that are important to them?
- How will it help them to solve some of their challenges?
Design your presentation to demonstrate how your topic will solve their challenges and fulfil their desires and your audience will enthusiastically applaud you.
Find Your Physiology of Confidence
Let’s imagine you’re about to make a big presentation to your peers. What do you think would happen if you entered the room with low energy, eyes down, arms across your body, adopting a rigid stance and taking shallow breaths?
You certainly wouldn’t feel or appear in control – and would probably rush through your presentation without making much impact. Chances are your audience could feel uncomfortable, disengaged and even question your authority. That’s not a great start to your performance!
What you need to do instead is find your physiology of confidence. Research proves this is as simple as standing tall, shoulders back and head up. Breathe deeply, move fluidly and let all the tension in your shoulders slip away.
You could also you use the influential hand gestures mentioned previously. We give a run-down of these in the post Are You Sending The Wrong Signals?
With confident body language, you’ll assure others that you know what you’re doing and be taken more seriously. Best of all, combined with valuable content, you’ll keep them enthralled throughout your entire presentation.
Practice your presentation in front of a mirror to check your physiology and see the difference.
Have High Energy
Energy is a bit nebulous and hard to define. Basically it’s about injecting your presentation with some passion and pizazz, while still staying focused on the content. If you are engaged and enthusiastic about your topic and the benefits for your audience, they will be pulled into your presentation and be more heavily invested in your ideas.
Silence Your Inner Critic
Do you have a little voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough? Maybe there’s an entire committee chattering away in there!
It’s really important to become the manager of your own internal dialogue. Here’s how:
- Identify it – know when it’s negative self-talk
- Objectify it – realise it’s not you, it’s just a voice
- Manage it – understand where it comes from
- Banish it – replace it with a generative and constructive voice
Decide whether it’s a real fear, as in you haven’t done enough research or practice, and heed it, or a false fear. By replacing negative self-talk with constructive thoughts, you’ll be much more confident when presenting to your colleagues and superiors.
To discover the secrets to communicating with confidence join our 1-day workshop The Confident Communicator. The workshop will teach you how to own your value and get your next big idea across the line. Register now!
The Colin James Method® coaches and trains executives and corporates to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.