Public Appearances and Authors: The Confidence Factor

2016 has been kind to me and I’m very grateful. I had the opportunity to experience a small slice of author life which turned into a wellspring of happiness for me. I met many lovely authors, librarians, booksellers, and readers that I’d never have had the pleasure to meet, but for publishing a novel. And the conferences were phenomenal. Hooray!

As a newbie author, the public speaking aspect was daunting…at first. But I’d like to share a few body language tips I found helpful in promoting confidence:

1. When all else fails, paste a small, calm smile on your face throughout the event. That smile will warm you up and in turn, warm the audience. The audience won’t always remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel (to paraphrase the great Maya Angelou). Practice the smile before wearing it in public to ensure it’s the look you want to share. Believe it or not, a simple smile may be just the confidence booster you need.

2. I have a bad habit of slumping in my seat. Do I want my body to display discomfort, insecurity, or unease? Do I want to look like I’m hoping to disappear into the woodwork? Absolutely…NOT. Remind yourself over and over to sit straight, chin parallel to the ground, stomach tucked in. This reeks of confidence. And don’t underestimate the power of eye contact. It communicates sincerity and engagement.

3. Maintain a positive attitude. Remind yourself of what a wonderful place you are in your life. I love looking out at the audience and reminding myself that I’m there because I’m a published author, a dream come true and an instant attitude lift.

4. Be nice to everyone that crosses your path. Kindness makes the world around us a better place and keeps us confident and happy. Do it in your own best interest and in the interest of others. Studies show that kindness begets kindness. A single kind act can spur dozens more.

5. Your tone of voice matters. Talk to your audience like you would to someone you care about. A dear aunt, a favorite pet, a good friend or anyone that brings out the best in you. I’m at my highest potential when I can speak passionately, but in a calm voice to someone I know or someone who exudes interest. Keep in mind that audience members typically want to be there, want to hear what you have to say and hope to go away having learned something of value that they can take and use in their own lives. Our job when speaking is to give them what they want and more.

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7 years ago

Hi Lida, as usual thumbs up.

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