Some people speak in public and come across with a lot of confidence and flair. How do they do that? Well, there is a science to it. Hereby 3 tips to be on stage with confidence and flair!
1. Don’t speak right away
Many people start talking right away and mostly it’s because of nerves. That communicates a little insecurity and fear. Instead, walk quietly on stage, take a deep breath, find your place, wait a few seconds and begin. It sounds long, and believe me on stage it will also ‘feel’ long for you. But for your audience it is nice as it gives them the time to see who walks on stage and size you up. As human beings when we see someone for the first time we always make a small ‘scan’ and when we do that we do not listen quite as well as we could. So even though it may feel awkward, having a small pause before you talk shows the audience that you are totally confident and in charge of the situation. Besides, musicians do it all the time. So be a Rock-star!
2. Make eye contact with your audience one by one
Scanning the room hesitantly or choosing on point in the distance to focus on is the worst you can do. It may look like you’re looking at everyone but it actually disconnects you from your audience. It’s much easier and effective to look at specific audience members throughout your speech. If you can, give each person that you intently look at an entire sentence or thought, without breaking your gaze. When you finish a sentence, move on to another person and keep connecting with individual people until you’re done speaking. Speaking is really having a conversation with your audience. This action does not only creates a deeper connection with individuals but the entire audience can feel it.
3. Speak clearly and slowly
When you get on stage and you are nervous, it is not only your heart beat that quickens, your words tend to speed up as well. Luckily your audience is more patient and forgiving than you may realise. They sit there to listen, they have their own goals, and they want you to succeed, because if you do their time and attention is rewarded. So between sentences or even between ‘chapters’ of your story. Go quiet for a moment and take a long, deep breath. And you will see, they will wait for you. I read an article where Simon Sinek (he has one of the most viewed TED talks of all time) claimed that it’s impossible to speak too slowly on stage. He says: “It’s incredible that you can stand on stage and speak so slowly that there are several seconds between each of your words and people… will… hang… on… your… every… word. It really works.”