12 Days of Confidence
“I can’t do it, I’m so nervous in front of an audience. I’m an introvert. I’m shy.”
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s natural to get nervous. But here’s the thing: we are all speaking in public all the time. If you’re speaking without an audience, you’re probably getting some strange looks from people :)
So the next time your inner voice tells you “I’m too nervous in front of an audience to speak”, tell it this:
There doesn’t need to be a huge difference between how you speak when sat in a coffee shop and how you speak when giving a presentation. The content changes, the outcomes or objectives are different, but your style can be broadly the same.
Speaking, is presenting, is pitching, is chatting, is influencing. The more smoothly you transition from one sort of speaking to another the more likely it is you will come across as a confident, capable communicator.
As an actor, I do a lot of pretending. Pretending to be someone I am not. Pretending I am in places that I am not. Pretending to go through emotions that I am not. So I have become really good at seeing when others are pretending. When they are putting on an act.
Recently, I was hosting a super hard working client at my home office. I was captivated as this person shared stories about their work, what inspired them to join the industry, how they envisage the future of this world. And then they stood up….standing up (to rehearse a presentation for an event) flicked a switch from “being myself ” to “being me in presenter mode”.
The qualities of the two personas were so different. Myself = articulate, expressive, energised. Presenter Me = hesitant, straight faced, stiff. We had to work on changing the mindset so that we had a smooth transition and brought these superb natural qualities into the presentation. We got there!
So today, remember to remind yourself, out loud, “Speaking in public is what I do every day.”