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Some people crave the opportunity to tell their story.
Some are thrust into the limelight before they’re fully ready.
Both types often have this in common: a lack of confidence in their speaking skills. For some, it’s feeling intimidated by the idea of speaking in front of an audience. For others, it’s not being able to communicate their ideas with conviction.
But confidence is not the end game.
You can be a very confident speaker without being an effective communicator. But you can’t be an effective communicator without being confident.
It’s ineffective if you’re just building your confidence without working on your core communication skills like:
- Being able to simplify complex things.
- Adapting your message to different audiences.
- Tuning in to how your audience is responding to your message.
That said, becoming the most confident version of yourself on that stage is a worthwhile investment.
Here’s ONE actionable thing you can do today to start building your confidence to speak in public:
Identify your confidence builders and dampeners
Symptoms of low confidence
First, identify the symptoms of low confidence you’re showing while speaking:
- Swaying on your feet or stepping randomly.
- Presenting while slumped in your seat.
- Too few or too many gestures.
- Filler words.
- Not making eye contact.
- Speaking too quickly.
- Trembling voice.
- Getting defensive, losing your cool.
Causes of low confidence
Then, figure out what is bringing your confidence down:
- Fear of the audience judging you.
- Fear of blanking out.
- Your heart beating uncontrollably fast.
- Limiting beliefs like you don’t have enough experience, you’re an imposter, you’ve never been good at speaking in public.
Your confidence builders
Finally, focus on your confidence builders:
🔥 Challenge your limiting beliefs: list down all the experience that you DO have that backs up what you’re saying.
🔥 Practice getting out of your head: don’t focus on your performance, focus on how well you’re communicating your ideas.
🔥 Get to know your audience beforehand: who are they? What do they expect? How can you humanize them?
🔥 Consciously combat the behaviors you identified in the first list (of low-confidence symptoms).
🔥 Prepare and rehearse Every. Single. Time. Know your material inside out.
🔥 Identify confidence-building mantras to say or poses to strike (superman pose anyone?) right before you go live. (I sometimes tell myself before going on stage: “This ain’t your first rodeo, Nausheen”).
Confidence builders work differently for different folks. That’s why it’s important to identify which of these confidence building strategies work for you.
Note that I mentioned “tactics” like mantras or poses last. It’s not because they don’t work – they do! But if you can spend some time figuring out what’s causing your lack of confidence on a deeper level, you’ll be defeating it forever instead of just keeping it at bay.
Hope this helps. I love hearing from you so please let me know what you thought!
See you next Saturday! Till then I hope you speak fearlessly.