HR & Management

Public speaking: How to emulate the confidence of your business idols

3 min read

13 September 2018

Reporter, Real Business

From CEOs to job candidates, public speaking skills and the confidence that comes with it, are highly bankable elements in business.

Business confidence isn’t limited to good projections and profits, it’s about the way you present the company and yourself to others.

Projecting a confident outward appearance should matter to business owners great and small. Humans are visual creatures, after all. We take note of how things look.

It’s the same when it comes to business interactions. Whether we are watching someone make a speech at an event, or interviewing a candidate for a job role, the way that person puts their communications skills across matters to us. This is intimately connected to body language.

In the spirit of confidence and leadership, let’s look to four tried and tested moves used by some of the world’s greatest leaders.

Embrace the audience

We don’t mean hug them. Instead, by gesturing outwards towards the recipient of your conversation, they are more likely to engage with you and what you’re saying.

Emulating this move means your eyes are likely to do the same, and direct eye contact with your audience will make your address appear all the more engaging. A byproduct of making these assertive moves is that you are less likely to appear shaky if you are physically nervous.

Famous fan: Steve Jobs, CEO and founder, Apple.

Touch your chest

Not only will this move make you appear emotionally engaged with what you’re saying, it’s also a proven method to calm yourself down.

It can be used as a way to make yourself more reassured should you be feeling anxious.

Famous fan: Tony Robbins, billion-dollar life-coach and author.

Keep your hands where we can see them

Having your hands open to the audience signifies engagement. If they are on show you are also more likely to relax them, as white balled fists will not assure your team or clients of your ability to perform under pressure.

Instead, keep them relaxed, which will make you appear confident and at ease. Being aware of your hands, and what they are doing, also means you can use them as a memory tool to physically signify the points you want to make.

This is especially important in situations where nerves can trigger mind blanks.

Famous fan: Bill Gates, Microsoft.

Lean into your audience

Whilst avoiding getting too up-close-and-personal in more intimate interview situations, leaning your head, shoulders, and arms towards your intended audience shows them you are comfortable in the situation, and that you have things you are excited to talk about with them.

Famous fan: Sheryl Sandberg, CEO, facebook