My cousin once asked, "Where do you get your confidence?” Before I had time to consider the idea, the response came out, "I've made mistakes, and I'm not afraid to make mistakes in the future.” In public speaking, writing, and publishing; the speaker or writer must be confident. Confidence builders for me always include preparation. Here are ways I prepare to write and to present.
Brainstorming. The first step is good old-fashioned brainstorming. I prepare by thinking about the topic. What do I know? What do I want the audience to know after I'm done? How will I go about finding information for the content I do not know? while driving is one of my favorite times to ponder a topic, the audience, and the purpose of the writing or presentation. I call it TAP. Once I've considered the topic, audience, and purpose (TAP), the majority of planning is done.
The second step includes drafting. I choose to outline presentations and use paragraphing of thoughts for longer written pieces. I suggest to everyone, write what's on your mind. Always keep in mind the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Preview. Discuss. Review. PDR is just that simple. The final step is practicing. Most of my practicing is done while standing in front of the mirror. I'm watching my facial expressions and gestures. Body language telegraphs part of the message. The most memorable presenters show signs of confidence by making eye contact with their audience. Getting the audience to chuckle a bit. Using gestures that invite the listeners to participate or vividly imagine the topic.
Visualize. Be certain to imagine yourself, I almost always do this, giving the presentation. Imagine yourself moving to the position where you start speaking. Imagine or visualize yourself offering examples. Consider the tone of your voice and the appropriate volume. Sometimes a lower volume gets more attention. Control the rate of speech. If you typically speak fast, keep this in mind. If you don't know your natural rate, tone, or volume; ask someone who will be sincere. If you do not want to ask, do people tell you to repeat what you've said? Why? Is your volume too low? Do you rant loudly? Do you have nasal tone? Visualize your voice.
Confidence in speaking or writing comes from thinking about the topic, audience, and purpose. The next element of confidence is drafting the product knowing you should have a clear beginning, middle, and ending. Practicing and visualizing oneself can support confidence as you begin to consider the topic from the audience's perspective. I've made mistakes in writing and speaking. One of my first presentations was to an audience of about 100 people. I was five. I had practiced several times. That day, I learned to speak confidently.