When you have to take a presentation that you cannot pass to someone else then you really have to be sure that you are confident enough to take that presentation. I think you also need to remember the fact that I did say you should not be passing your opportunities to speak when the opportunities come because you will not be developing yourself. You can always build your confidence by taking more and more presentation chances instead of passing them on to other people! There’s no one who has attained the status of excellence by trying something the first time and getting it perfectly right! Excellence is a result of ‘continuous persistence’ – allow me to use those words together – in getting something done and getting it right! For you to become an excellent speaker, you will have to make speaking a habit and also speak at every opportunity to speak.
One of the important things you can do when it comes to building your confidence when you have a presentation is to talk to the organizers of the meeting to know more about what was on their mind when they gave you the presentation topic. While interacting with them about the topic, you may find out that it’s a subject you know very well but they have given it a topic that you are not familiar with. In such cases, you may request if you can be allowed to change the topic of the presentation or to reconstruct it to a topic that’s more comfortable for you while still working on delivering exactly what they have in mind! During this process of changing topic, some of the organizers may not be so happy with changing topics but one thing you can do to convince them that changing topic will be okay is to run some of your key points by them. When they hear some of the key points that you have, it will reassure that you know what they have in mind but you just need to be more comfortable with the topic.
Unfortunately in some cases as I have experienced recently, you may not be allowed to change your topic and your confidence is in a great way tied to how much of the topic you understand! In this case I think the first step you can take is to try and pick the key words in the presentation topic, do a research online or make a few phone calls to get yourself prepared for the topic. In the case that you can’t get much out of the internet research, maybe when a subject is relatively new, then you have to probe further with the person who sent you the presentation topic to know what they had in mind or what they intend to achieve with the topic they gave to you.
Always be sure that you are okay with the topic because that’s one of the first things you can do to build your confidence! There are other issues that seriously affect confidence apart from not being comfortable with the topic but those other issues may not be as serious as not having a good grasp of the topic that you are to deliver.
Aside having a platform through which you can always do a very good research or getting in touch with the organizers of the meeting where you are to speak, it is important for you to have a great network of speakers as friends and mentors! Your mentors and friends will always have experiences that differ from yours and you can always learn from their experiences when it comes to the issue of confidence or any other thing in public speaking. I must say that it’s a great opportunity for people to believe in you and to give you their speaking platforms! It’s also a lot of fun in the world of speaking so keep speaking and keep succeeding! You will always get better with more chances to speak!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
fola-daniel – Skype
@foladaniel – Twitter
+234 803 416 3006
Fola Daniel Adelesi
Speaker | Author | Consultant
+234 803 416 3006