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How to Speak in Public with Confidence

Learn how to speak with confidence from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking training video.


Hi. I'm T.J. Walker, and I'm an internationally renowned expert on communication.

What do you judge when you see something like that, or you hear something like that? Now, I might be the most confident speaker in the world, but if my head is down like it just was, if my volume is down, you are going to perceive that I'm lacking confidence. I mean here's the good news about audiences. They can't really read your mind to know whether you're confident or not.

The only thing an audience can ever do is make judgments about you based on what you're doing with your body or not doing with your body. What you're doing with your voice or not doing with your voice. So if you learn how to do the things that audiences associate with confidence, they will think that you're confident, and if you know that, it will actually be hard for you to lack confidence. You simply won't be able to be scared any longer.

The number one way to really have confidence when you're giving a speech is to have practiced in advance on video, and watch it and keep doing it until you can point to the video and say, "Man! That guy, that woman is fantastic. If I can be half as good as that person, I'll be the best speaker at my conference or at my school." And you're pointing to a video of yourself.

So what are the biggest signs of confidence that the audience is looking for subconsciously? Well for starters, nervous people freeze. They're grabbing a lectern. Their body isn't moving. Their head isn't moving, and all they're doing is moving their lips. That is a surefire sign of lacking confidence. Nervous people speak too quickly, too flat, too monotone. That's a surefire sign of lacking confidence.

Nervous people stand in one spot. If you want to appear confident, you need to move. That means move your hands, move your body, even move around the room. That's right. Walk and talk, something every five year old knows how to do. And when it comes to your voice, you need to have a full range. That means louder, softer, faster, slower.

If you follow these tips, you will appear to be confident to your audience even if you aren't.

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