One of the major barriers to confidence in public speaking is the uncertainty of how an audience perceives you as a speaker. Here is a five minute public speaking exercise for you that we often use at Brandon Learning Centre to develop self awareness.
Arm yourself with a book or newspaper. Find a quiet spot with a full length mirror. Take a deep breath and read the text as though, behind the mirror, lies an invisible audience. Watch your face and body language as you progress through the reading. Try to match your gestures and facial expressions to the content of your literature. Throughout the exercise, identify moments when you are relaxed and engaged and remember how this feels. With practice, the objective is to be able to extend these moments and to become aware of how you can adapt your behaviour to connect with an audience
When you first try this exercise, your initial reaction will be to laugh and/or be bashful. Persist and, as you drive away the demons of doubt, you will find that your fears will be replacing by your growing confidence.