7 tips for speaking with greater confidence

Delivering a presentation can provoke minor jitters or abject terror. Relax. Breathe. These guidelines will set you on the proper course for engaging with your audience.

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The hardest part about public speaking is the worry.

There’s the worry about forgetting your lines, about whether your message will be clear, about what people will think of you, about embarrassing yourself, about getting a tough audience or facing difficult questions.

Next time you have a speech or a presentation, quash your worries with these tips that will help you become a more confident speaker:

1. Perfection is overrated (and impossible).

It is impossible to be perfect—especially these days when everyone is so time-poor at work and school.

When mistakes happen, perfectionism causes you excess stress, making it increasingly likely that you’ll make more mistakes. And so the cycle continues.

Understand that mistakes will happen. When they do, you will deal with them and then move on. (Always keep moving forward.) This attitude will make you less nervous and keep you looking and feeling confident on stage.

2. It’s not about you; it’s about the audience.

People aren’t coming to your talk because they care about you, but because they want to know how you can help them.

As you prepare your presentation, think about the audience first. Focus your talk on how they can benefit.

3. Your audience members are human, too.

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