Put about 20-25 professional speakers of different levels and stages in their career in a crowd and ask them what skills they think they need to improve as a speaker and you might be surprised at what they say.
I was surprised when I heard that many speakers want to improve their confidence.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me that the guy or gal up on stage might lack confidence.
How can a speaker improve his/her confidence?
I can think of several ways.
1. Practice. The more you do what you do (in this case speak), the better you become at it. The better you are at it, the easier it is for you to perform on demand. The best way to become a good piano player is to put fingers to keys. Reading about piano playing won’t make you a better piano player. Fingers to keys, rinse and repeat. More practice is an easy way to build confidence.
2. Be good at what you do. In my other life I am a social media marketer. I am really good at what I do. Will Rogers said, “If you can do it, it ain’t bragging.” I ain’t bragging. When you are really good at the subject matter you are presenting, you will have confidence when you are presenting. You can concentrate on the presentation and not on the topic. If I were giving a presentation on something I had just researched – as opposed to mastered – my presentation will be off because I will be concentrating on the content instead of the delivery.
3. Find a good audience. A good audience is a good match. The folk sitting in front of you want/need what it is you have. When you know there is a good match, you will grow in confidence. “They need something. I have it.” If you must first persuade your audience that they must hear what you have to say BEFORE you say it, your focus will be off and your confidence will drop.
When you know that your audience needs what you have to offer and nobody can deliver it better than you = confidence.
Did I miss something?