9 top tips on speaking with confidence online and IRL
By Shifa Sarguru, SOCIATE’s Copywriting Intern
Where do you find your confidence?
We believe that outer appearances are usually the source of people’s confidence. However, renowned voice coach Caroline Goyder, challenges the notion by telling us to look within ourselves to find our confident voice.
Goyder, in her early days as a voice coach, had the opportunity to present in front of an audience at the House of Parliament. She remembers how her pacing had been rapid, her microphone broke; everything that could go wrong; did.
“The next time I stand up to speak, I’ll make sure it feels good,” she thought to herself. It was an empowering message from the inside. After her failure, Caroline didn’t give up. Instead, she started focusing on how to learn from her mistakes and ensured that her next stage appearance would be a better experience for her.
So, how do you speak with confidence? Try these tips.
Practice your voice: Our voice is our greatest instrument. Whether you’re standing in front of the mirror or on top of a chair. The more we practice speaking out loud, the easier it is to gain confidence in ourselves.
Deep breaths: In order to master our confidence, we must learn to breathe deeply. That is, to lift our diaphragm while breathing. By controlling our breath, we are able to regulate our system and calm our nerves.
Prepare in advance: Before an important presentation, people tend not to prepare as much as they should. This happens because they are either too busy or they are nervous and don’t want to think about it. The only way to ensure that you are prepared for your presentation or speech is to allow time to practice and make sure that you are ready for your presentation.
It’s not about you: People get anxious when they believe that a presentation is for them. But it’s not about them, it’s about the audience.
Don’t rush: Presenters tend to fast-forward through their slides and material. It’s a real waste of time because the audience cannot keep up with them. Remind yourself to slow down. Take your time to focus more on what you say so that people will understand and remember your message.
Do not write a script: The advantage of writing a script is that you can perfect every word for your presentation. By keeping a word-to-word script, we end up pressuring ourselves to learn a lot of material. It’s like the Domino Effect, if you forget one word, you are stuck and unable to continue. Try this instead: Create a rough structure of the topics you want to cover. Keep flashcards in your hands with the bullet points for reference during the presentation.
Top tips for online meetings
Zoom meetings have dominated the majority of our presentations. It is important to keep in mind that an IRL conversation is different to an online one.
Stand up: Get a standing laptop stand or place your laptop on a stack of books on your desk. Standing will ensure that you feel grounded and allows your breath to move freely. You can also gesture in a relaxed manner which will make your speech seem more authentic.
Take a break: We all have busy schedules with back-to-back Zoom calls and meetings. However, before the big ones, give yourself at least ten to fifteen minutes of pause. Turn off all your devices and sit in a quiet place to regain your confidence.
Use your voice and energy: Digital conversations require 20% more vocal energy as compared to face-to-face conversations. While presenting, make sure your voice is loud, clear, and confident.
Lastly, remember that good speakers are always good listeners first. Be empathetic to others and listen attentively to what they have to say. For support with speech writing, webinar compilation, or a content shoot, reach out at [email protected]