By Phil Schibeci
  • Presenting with confidence

    Presenting with confidence


It can make even the most self-assured person quake, but, says Phil Schibeci, co-author of a new book for start-up businesses, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Speak with passion

To give an inspiring, motivating presentation you need to speak on a topic you are passionate about or at least have an interest in. Public speaking is not the time to be cool or reserved, so don’t be afraid to show your passion. Don’t hold anything back and just say it as it is for you. If you can’t be passionate about your topic, how can you expect the audience to have any interest in it? If you mean what you say you will enjoy presenting it. If you enjoy it, so will the audience.

Don’t fall into the trap of just presenting the information as cold hard facts, instead speak from your own experience and learn to weave relevant stories and anecdotes into your presentations. Everyone loves a good story because they evoke emotions. A good way to become a great story-teller is to develop some personal stories where you or someone else triumphed in a challenging situation. Practice by telling these stories to family and friends whenever the opportunity arises.


Use the power of the pause

Although you need to be excited to inspire and motivate your audience, you also need to take a breath to pause throughout your presentation.  Mark Twain said, “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

Pausing is something that most people do not use very well when they are making a speech or presentation. Moments of silence when speaking are very powerful especially, as Twain said, if they are used at the right time.

A great time to use a pause is just before, or just after you make a bold or important statement.

This either prepares the audience for what’s coming or it gives them time to absorb and process what you have just said. Pausing also gives the speaker a chance to think about what they are going to say next or to check their notes.

There are many benefits of effective pausing when speaking to groups of people or even one to one, so this certainly is a skill worth developing and using.

It’s the gaps between our words that often have the greatest impact, so don’t forget the power of the pause.


Harness your nerve power

When people ask me how they can get rid of the nerves before a presentation, I tell them if they don’t feel nervous before a presentation to check their pulse because something is terribly wrong. 

In 21 years of presenting to audiences of all sizes, I’ve always felt varying degrees of anxiety or nervousness beforehand.

The feelings that everyone experiences before speaking to a group of people are actually positive energy.

This is the type of energy you need as a speaker to inspire and motivate your audience. Instead of seeing these feelings as a liability use them to your advantage.

Don’t try to suppress or worry about what you are experiencing as it’s normal and healthy to feel this way. Get used to this heightened state as much as you can because it won’t hurt you, in fact if don’t feel like this beforehand you may come across as flat and lifeless.

It’s just the little voice in your head telling you that you are about to do something that requires lots of energy and focus.

The feeling I get prior to speaking to an audience is similar to when I’m waiting to get on a fast rollercoaster ride at an amusement park. I’m scared and excited all at the same time.  

If I let go and enjoy the adrenaline rush as soon as I start speaking it’s a wild, fun ride. If I worry about it I get very tense and it’s not enjoyable.

Instead of fighting or trying to suppress these feelings, learn to harness this energy by accepting it. If you are able to do this you will enjoy public speaking because the audience will respond to your enthusiasm and excitement.

All good speakers don’t try to be anything or anyone but themselves. Using the ideas presented here will help you be an authentic speaker that can inspire and motivate any audience.  PL 

Phil Schibeci is a renowned corporate speaker and workshop facilitator. He teaches professionals in various businesses and organisations the skills to create positive, productive workplaces to help them achieve the goals of their business. He is the co-author of Self Made: Real Australian Business Stories and How to Get Out of the RUT Race. For more information visit or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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