12 Days of Confidence

Day 10

When we imagine speaking, it’s very easy to imagine a crowd full of yawns, dead eyes and stern faces. We worry that we’ll bore the people we’re speaking to. That they won’t care about what we have to say and won’t be listening. And that’s a really scary image – we tell ourselves the story that “this is awful, everyone is bored, I shouldn’t be speaking.” And then we don’t.

But that’s not true. Today, I’d like you to tell yourself this:

I’ve worked a lot with people in big, multinational companies. The kind of companies that have their own gym and merchandise and coffee bar and thousands upon thousands of people on the payroll. These people are scattered across continents and then asked to work together, to influence and inspire one another. To come up with pithy videos, blog posts, training workshops and bonding sessions.

 

And when it comes time for individuals at these companies to sit down with me and work on audience analysis ( a vital part of preparing your training/presentation/sales kick off etc) I hear - “I’m talking to people from so many departments, with wide ranging priorities, on six time zones, from completely different cultural backgrounds - how can I pitch my delivery to strike a chord with all of them at once?” I gave it some thought and at last said, “you can’t”. As I’ve been saying from day 1 of this course. We can’t know everything, we can’t please everyone. The best you can do is have clear intentions and generous energy to move people in the right direction.

Yes, you may not engage every single person. There may be some yawns and checking of phones in your audience. (There is at least one person in every single one of my workshops that has a resting facial expression that rocks my confidence). But you know what? That’s okay. You can’t captivate every person for every second – that’s not humanly possible. And it’s out of your control. Do your best to engage the majority. Focus on that. The next time you speak, focus on providing value, and on the ones who are engaged.

PS Nine times out of ten the person with the stern expression is the first to pour out their enthusiasm and gratitude at the end of the session. AH! Why did I let the story in my head undermine my confidence? Worried for nothing!!!