Often we are so consumed by our speech or presentation, our delivery, or our nervousness, that we fail to recognize the value of composure in approaching the lectern or the head of the boardroom table. You are judged not only when you begin to speak but also during your walk to the front of the room or onto the stage of the auditorium or the hall.

If your shoulders are slouched, your head hanging low and your eyes staring at your feet, how confident do you look? If you are expecting your audience to trust and believe in you, an approach that shouts apprehension, trepidation, or unease is not very reassuring. Obviously, your visual image is the first thing your audience sees. And, grooming certainly is important when presenting; but, the finest clothes are of no consequence if you do not walk with confidence and assuredness.

I was at a public speaking boot camp recently. During the entire 4 days, the presenter walked with purpose. His posture was impeccable and he exuded confidence not just when he spoke but whenever he entered the room. Was he nervous? Absolutely, and he admitted as much to us; however, we were unaware of it. He also made an occasional mistake which is normal with even the best speakers when they talk from both their heart and their mind.

He did not memorize his presentation nor did he read it to us. He spoke with the help of a PowerPoint presentation and was engaging throughout the entire 4 days. Treating his audience as if he were having a conversation, this man:

1. knew his material;
2. spoke with color, with life, and with emotion;
3. acknowledged his entire audience in speaking;
4. took control of his nervousness, allowing it to work for him and not against him; and
5. believed in himself.

If you can make use of those 5 traits when you present your material to an audience, your ability to approach the lectern, the head of the conference table, or the front of the classroom with confidence and assuredness is guaranteed. Next time you are scheduled to speak, walk proudly and with purpose. In doing so, you will find your opening words that much easier than if you approach your audience with dread and trepidation.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Voice Dynamic.

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