Yep, I got asked this question the other week after a talk I did at a school. I remember I gave a quick, standard answer along the lines of - "oh, years and years of practice!"
Now, this of course is true, it has taken years of practice . . . I mean, would you believe that when I was a teenager I was really shy, and could barely look up from me notes when presenting in class? Here was my turning point in speech making - I got up in front of the whole school, made a campaign speech for School Captain without notes and won! How did I do it? Go from barely being able to look up in class to speaking confidently in front of 1000 other students? Well, I had started swimming and my self confidence had shot through the roof, I was maturing emotionally faster then my peers, and I had been developing a self belief system through goal setting and success. When I stood in front of the school and spoke I remember feeling a sense of power, power to address people, to get my ideas across, to change peoples lives for the better.
Now, I use my "power" for good! So how does this make me a confident speaker? My power is my authenticity, my drive, my desire to help others - that is where my confidence is situated. You see, I believe in what I have to say and I believe that my story can help other people overcome their obstacles and achieve. This is what makes me speaking to people "easy" for me (I say easy, and it is easy for me to get up and speak in front of a group of people . . . I'll be honest though, I'm not always perfect - but then who is??) As long as I am being true to myself, my speaking will be a success, I will come across as confident, passionate, and switched on!
Some speaking advice? Find your "power," feed on it, express it, be authentic, then you will believe, then you will be confident.
p.s. I am developing a public speaking . . . something . . . hmmmm (what is she up to?) keep tuned to find out.
TED Talks are brilliant - and this is my current favourite. Quick, sharp, to the point, and easy to understand and implement, Richard St.John's 8 Secrets of Success is a fantastic watch!
Keep an eye out on my blog, there will be a Ted Talk favourite to watch every week.