Public Speaking Skills Part 2: Build Your Confidence

confidenceSo far in my series “Get Past Your Fear of Public Speaking” I talked about Programing Your Brain – getting your mind ready to face your fears. This next step will help you build confidence and visualize success.

A few highly gifted people can try something new and be truly good at it. For most of us, mastering a new skill takes time. Say we want to learn the tango or juggle knives. On the first try chances are we would fail, our confidence would plummet and, based on my own experience with the tango, never try again. It takes time to build confidence in any new skill.

Start with what you know: you have been asked to present because you are an expert on a topic or you are the leader of a team whose work is important. You know that. You know what needs to be shared in a presentation. You know that you are the right person for the job, that you can bring energy, passion and excitement to the topic. You know you can speak to anyone, anywhere about this very important topic. You are confident that you can do it. You will do it.

Then imagine giving the presentation. Picture yourself in the room or on the stage. Watch yourself – see how calm and confident you look. See the audience – they are totally focused on what you are saying. Look, you’re smiling.  You own it. You are in the zone.

As with Programming Your Brain, repeat this exercise daily.