Public Speaking Lab

How to Become A Confident Public Speaker?

I’m excited to share a personal epiphany that blew my mind when it comes to speaking in front of an audience. This wasn’t just a shift in mindset; it was a rocket booster for my confidence and enthusiasm. It all started with a remarkable book by the legendary Michael Shurtleff – “Audition.” Michael Shurtleff, an iconic casting director from the golden era of Hollywood.

He left us a priceless gem in his book. In it, he unveiled the top pitfall actors tumble into when walking into an audition room: the fear that everyone in the room is secretly hoping for their failure. It hit home for me because this sentiment often mirrors what we experience when we’re speaking in front of an audience. But the truth is it’s quite the contrary.

Close your eyes and picture this: you’re about to step onto a stage, face a sea of expectant faces, and that pesky voice in your head whispers, “They’re all waiting for you to mess up.” But, here’s the surprising twist – it’s quite the opposite! The moment you stand in front of an audience, they aren’t secretly hoping for you to trip over your words or forget your lines. They’re not sitting there ready to pounce on your mistakes. Instead, they are on your side, wholeheartedly rooting for your success. They long for the experience to be not just entertaining, but also enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s actually comforting when you grasp the fact that your audience isn’t in their seats waiting for your slip-ups; they’re genuinely rooting for you to shine.

Now, I’m sure some of you might be thinking, “But how can I convince myself of this?” It’s all about flipping that switch in your brain. Trust in yourself and in the positivity of your audience, and you’ll start improving effortlessly. This shift in perspective can make all the difference.

How to start weaving this new mindset into your public speaking journey?

Here are some down-to-earth tips:

  • Visualize Your Triumph: Before taking the stage, close your eyes and imagine the audience smiling, nodding, and genuinely enjoying your presentation. Visualizing a successful outcome can bolster your confidence.
  • Rehearse Until You Own It: The more prepared you are, the more secure you’ll feel. Practice your speech or presentation until it’s second nature. When you’re confident in your material, believing in your success becomes natural.
  • Forge a Connection: Engage with your audience. Make eye contact, share a laugh, and interact with them. Building a personal connection can help you recognize that they are genuinely invested in your success.
  • Embrace the Flaws: Understand that no one is perfect, and your audience knows it. If you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Embrace it, laugh it off, and keep going. Your audience will appreciate your authenticity.
  • Welcome Feedback: After your presentation, ask for feedback from a trusted friend or colleague. Constructive feedback can guide your growth and make each subsequent presentation even better.

In conclusion, swap the mindset that everyone’s out to see you fail with the realization that they’re genuinely hoping for your success. It’s an influential switch that can make you a more confident, enthusiastic, and captivating speaker. So, the next time you’re gearing up for a speech or presentation, remember: they’re on your side, cheering for your triumph. 

I hope this blog post has sparked a new perspective on public speaking for you. Just like “Audition” by Michael Shurtleff transformed my approach to presenting, I believe it can do the same for you.

Have you had the chance to dive into “Audition” or apply its principles to your life? By exchanging ideas and learning from each other, we can inspire fellow readers on their journey to confident public speaking. Don’t hesitate – your experiences and thoughts can be the guiding light for others in their pursuit of fearless speaking. Let’s build a supportive community where we’re all each other’s cheerleaders, backing each other for success! #EndBoring and welcome the thrill of speaking in front of an audience!