Public Speaking Confidence – A Mindset
Most times people are their own worst critics. You will inevitably magnify your flaws and imagine the whole world sees them and judges you. The one thing you must work to change is your mindset. You must convince your own mind that you ARE good at public speaking and that you can do this. That’s the first hurdle. I’ve written a book “What Are You Saying?” about how to overcome the fear of public speaking and in my book, I talk about how you need to get over yourself and into your audience.
SHIFT YOUR FOCUS
When you are self-conscious, who are you thinking about? Yourself right? Turn that focus away from yourself and what others think about you and shift your focus to your audience. If you do this, half the battle is won. Now, if you find those people in the audience intimidating, you will imagine their judgment (their negative evaluations of you) and that will mess with your mind. Also, when you do this, your automatically project this insecurity.
HARNESS YOUR IMAGINATION
What helps me is to imagine my audience as toddlers. I don’t about you, but I don’t find toddlers intimidating at all. If you focus on that you’d be surprised at how easy it is to see an audience this way. Of course, I don’t talk to them like I would to toddlers but imagining that they are kids helps me overcome any anxiety. I feel like each of us carries a child inside and, with practice, I can now see the child in each person. You could try to imagine them as family members, or puppies, anything you wouldn’t find intimidating.
Remember that as a speaker, you automatically have authority. See yourself as an authority figure, as someone with confidence and easy grace. Visualize it in your mind. Your mind is a powerful tool.
FLIP IT AROUND
When you feel anxious, tell yourself you feel excited. The feelings are almost identical. Use the adrenalin rush to your advantage. Keep saying, “I’m so excited to be speaking for this audience!” until you’ve convinced yourself of it.