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As with any self-fulfilling prophecy, faking confidence is
the first step to being confident
Popular quizzes often rate public speaking as one of the most
stressful experiences in life. During seminars on presentations, I've
observed quite senior staff (including teachers with considerable
experience) will do almost anything to get out of the practical exercises.
It isn't the preparation of content, the development of visuals, the
organisation of ideas or even worry over unexpected questions that's
the concern; it's the simple act of standing up and speaking in front
of a group that causes dry mouths, wobbly legs, shaking hands and
other undesirable physical reactions (some best not mentioned here!).
Rational or irrational, this fear is widespread. Despite the plethora
of advice on the internet, seminars, online tutorials, Toastmasters
and so on, nerves still prevail. Speaking effectively in public is a
career necessity and a lifelong skill. So, how to get over the nerves?
Practice and experience is the only answer. And this, of course, has
to be played out in front of audiences. Back to square one.
Given that non-verbal communication is said to account for up to 90%
of our communication, it makes sense that just being able to
look confident and competent will take you a long way towards
having your audience believe that you are confident and
competent. In other words, fake it!
So, assuming that you already know your content, here's a quick
lesson in faking a confident presentation.
As with any self-fulfilling prophecy, faking confidence is the first
step to being confident. Remember, while you still may not
feel totally in control, if you can fake it, no one will be any the wiser.
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