Which begs the question: Is poise related to practice, in public speaking? I think Tina is on to something, or at least, knows what she should be doing to feel more confident about her speaking and herself. Here's what I think practice can do to help you develop a poised, confident delivery:
- Rehearsing means you'll know what you do--and what you will be doing. If you tend to stumble over the letter "p," hesitate at the first question, forget your message midway through, well, your practice will show you those things...and give you the chance to correct them and get comfortable with your workarounds. The more you practice, the more public speaking gets less like flying by the seat of your pants and more like something you can anticipate, calmly.
- Practice lets you try out tactics that will help you appear poised, many of which have to do with how you move, stand and gesture. From what you do with your hands when you're not gesturing to thinking through your speaker presence and how you want to be seen, practice--and I mean more than a half-hour once before your presentation--gives you the time and space to develop that poise. And when it comes to looking versus feeling confident and poised remember: Any speaker can fake it before she makes it.
- About that self-worth thing: When you're first starting a new skill, especially one as complex as public speaking and presenting, it's easy to know your awful beginner status and have a palpable sense of just how far you have to go. And it's often an easy jump from that place to "I'm just no good at anything." But remember that public speaking is a learnable skill...and as I've learned from my guitar instructor, "If you will practice, you will improve." So it is in public speaking and presenting. Practice, practice, practice...and you'll build your self-worth muscle with each aspect you master.
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