Sadly confidence does not a good public speaker make and presenting with confidence might not be enough. In fact, being too confident can cause you to alienate your audience and prevent you from creating that vital connection. It struck us that this is a common misconception: confidence is the key ingredient to standing in front of an audience. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Confidence is simply one of the many ingredients, and can in fact cause more disconnection than positive results.
Too often we see speakers who have a message and information that they wish to impart. Their entire focus is on the transmission of this message. They may spend hours rehearsing and may put on a slick performance, but all they achieve in their presentation is to place themselves upon a soapbox and bombard their audience with “this thing” that the audience cannot relate to.
The true art of effective presentation requires connection with one’s audience. Confidence on the part of the speaker can in fact form a barrier to communication. Too often, speakers forget that what really needs to take place in a presentation is communication. Think back to the last conversation you had and ask yourself did the other participant’s confidence facilitate better communication or where you alienated as a result.
We believe the art of presenting and great public speaking is a journey that never really ends. There will always be room for improvement, there are always skills to improve and aspects that we can learn from one another. To assume that confidence alone will carry you as a presenter is one of the worst mistakes we can make and sadly our audience members do not appreciate arrogance. If you want to win the hearts and minds of your audience, show your humanity before them so they can relate to you. Remember that people relate best to people, not talking heads.
For one-on-one coaching or customised presentation training, please do contact us, but if you are unable to work with us, please do practice in front of as many critics as you and be open to receiving criticism as we always can learn from each other, and we always will have room for improvement in our journey to become exemplary speakers.
As for our friend, sadly they made very few sales. If your audience does not like you, they are not going to listen to you, no matter how loud or how well you think you can convey your message.