How to Fake Confidence in a Speech
It’s Tuesday morning, and you’re on your way to SP 101 to give your demonstration speech.
You have your visual aids, and you have your paperwork, but there’s one problem—you’re not ready. Maybe over the weekend, you were swamped with higher-priority projects, or maybe you were just being lazy. Either way, you’re just not ready.
Most of us have been in this place before. Whether it’s a five-minute speech for SP 101 or a fifteen-minute speech for SP 250, being unprepared can be very scary. Some would say it can even be described as devastating—both to your confidence and to your grade.
At this point, there’s only one thing left you can do: fake it. Fake it from start to finish. From the moment you walk in the door, to the moment you exit at the end of class, give the appearance that nothing is wrong. Pretend to be prepared.
Here are three simple tips on how to “fake it”:
1.) Posture Portrays Preparedness
When it comes to your posture, it’s not usually a matter of how to stand, but when to stand that way. Most people know how to stand up straight with their chin up and shoulders back. However, most people also fail to realize that having good posture only during your speech is not enough. To “fake confidence,” make sure you have great posture from the moment you walk into the room to the moment you walk out.
2.) Performing Pays Off
Even if you haven’t found adequate time to research your topic or practice your demonstration, it’s imperative that you speak as if you know exactly what you’re talking about. This is the step in which your informational speech may become a dramatic monologue—because you’ll be performing like someone who is more educated on his topic than he really is.
3.) Secrecy Secures Success
Chances are, if you pretend that you’re prepared, no one will notice that you had any reason to worry—so don’t ruin it by telling everyone how unprepared you were. While your speech may not be perfect, faking confidence that you know what you’re doing and acting like you’ve practiced will certainly help how others perceive your speech—including the one who’s grading it.
So, while thorough preparation and practice cannot be replaced, they can be feigned. If you find yourself walking to class to give a speech you’re not ready for, don’t worry. Take a deep breath, ask God for His help, stand up straight, and walk in confidently. It’s all about perception.13