Improve Self Confidence With Expert Advices@ Reward Me

Speak Up

Are you freaked out when you need to speak out?


For most of us the thought of making a speech is a daunting prospect and we shrink from the opportunity to make ourselves heard. Yet, at some stage of our lives we are required to speak publicly whether it’s at a parent/teacher meeting, a social occasion or when doing a presentation to clients or colleagues. The good news is that you can increase your confidence and develop the skill.

Conquer the fear

  • Control your breathing. When you focus on your breathing, you don’t have time to be nervous. When we’re nervous, we tend to take very shallow breaths, which can make our speech sound irregular. Just before speaking, take three deep, slow breaths through your nose, filling your stomach.
  • Repeat a short mantra just before speaking such as “I am calm, I am in control”. Repeating it helps to calm you and doesn’t afford the opportunity for negative self-talk to creep in.
  • Often it’s not what we say but the way we say things that counts. So use gestures, facial expressions and a low pitch to resonate warmth. When the pitch of your voice goes up, you risk sounding hysterical.
  • Learn to be comfortable with yourself and remember your posture. When speaking, content counts for 7% of the whole communication message, the actual message 38%, while the rest is visual.
  • Learn the correct pronunciation of words. It can be embarrassing and stressful not knowing how to correctly pronounce someone’s name or a foreign word, so always do your homework.

Speak up at:
A social occasion
Often we tend to see the audience as our enemy and fail to realise that they want us to do well. So if you feel nervous, that’s okay. Being nervous is only a problem if you’re so nervous that you make the audience nervous as well. Be well prepared and practice your speech but don’t learn it by heart. Before the event, write down a few points on a piece of paper, which you can use as a security blanket. Also try visualising the event beforehand. If the speech is impromptu, arm yourself by breathing correctly and speak from the heart in a low-pitched voice. And if you freeze and your mind goes blank, say something, anything. The longer you stay silent, the more stressed you will become. Make your audience identify with you. If they laugh, laugh with them and oxygen will return to your brain and more often than not you’ll remember where you left off.

A parent/teacher meeting
This can be a tricky situation because you want to protect your child, and at the same time avoid alienating his or her teacher. When other parents are present, for example in an open meeting, it can exacerbate matters. You don’t want to upset the teacher, nor do you want the parents to feel that you’re wasting their time or speaking for all of them. Exude warmth, confidence and friendliness by relaxing, controlling your breathing and using a low-pitched voice. Act as if you’re confident, even if you’re not feeling it.

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A group discussion
You’re part of a group discussion but you disagree with the stance someone takes. You have three choices: stay silent (you’ll feel like a coward); agree (you won’t be true to yourself); or speak your mind. Just because we disagree with someone, doesn’t mean it has to end in an argument. It’s always a good idea to acknowledge the other person’s comments and to end the conversation on a positive note such as shall we agree to disagree?

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