“Transforming anxiety into confidence is a journey, not a destination. Each time you speak, you're not just sharing a message; you're building a stronger, more confident version of yourself."
Standing in front of an audience to speak can be daunting. If the thought of public speaking sends shivers down your spine, you're not alone. With the right strategies, you can transform your anxiety into confidence.
First, it's important to acknowledge that feeling nervous about public speaking is entirely normal. Often, this anxiety stems from a fear of judgment, making a mistake, the fear of going blank and sometimes not being able to answer questions during the presentation. Recognizing the cause of your anxiety helps overcome it.
Techniques to Overcome Anxiety and Build Confidence:
Becoming aware of your thoughts: Our thoughts control our behaviour and emotions. Identifying the underlying thought and replacing it with a more balanced thought helps the mind calm down.
Mindful breathing: Engage in deep breathing exercises before your presentation. Taking deep breaths while focusing on the breath helps balance the nervous system. This calms the nerves and helps you build confidence in yourself.
“Breathing in, I calm my body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.” — Thich Nhat Hanh.
Visualize Success: Picture a positive outcome from the presentation. Visualization can be a powerful tool in building confidence and reducing fear.
Try this: The night before the presentation, visualize yourself giving the presentation in the best possible way. See every little detail in your mind’s eye; your clothes, your body language and even words that you are saying. Now, move your focus to the audience, and see a positive outcome of your presentation – they are clapping and cheering you.
This exercise builds confidence as it serves as a rehearsal for the subconscious mind. When you give the presentation, it feels like you have done this before and therefore not so scary after all!
Physical Warm-Up: Light exercise can ease tension. Consider a brisk walk or some stretching exercises before your presentation.
Master Your Material: When you know your subject well, confidence builds from within. It reduces the fear of not knowing the answer to a question that may be asked. Take time to research thoroughly and understand the topic of your presentation or talk.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Regular practice can significantly boost your confidence. Rehearse your presentation multiple times to familiarize yourself with the content and flow. Practice with your friends and colleagues. This will help you feel more comfortable with your material and subject.
Start With a SMILE: Stand tall and smile. This not only conveys confidence to your audience but also helps you feel more confident. Smiling breaks the ice with the audience.
Remember - Everyone makes mistakes: If you misspeak or forget something, simply pause, breathe, and continue. It’s always okay to make mistakes. Most audiences are forgiving and understanding.
Transforming anxiety into confidence doesn’t happen overnight. It's an ongoing journey that needs continuous practice. Take each opportunity to speak, whether at the office or dinner party and remember that each time you speak, you're growing and becoming more confident. So, take a deep breath, prepare well, and step onto that stage with confidence. You’ve got this!
EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION COACH
Varsha is an executive communication coach whose specialty is working with leaders to improve performance and engagement through better communication.
She comes with a rich corporate experience of ten years of training in the field of communication. Varsha has worked with entrepreneurs, professionals, and senior managers and helped them advance in their careers by helping them overcome their limiting beliefs and scale greater heights. Her approach is highly personalized and her programs are customized to each client.
She is a qualified TEFL / TESOL trainer, Emotional Intelligence Coach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practitioner, Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and certified counsellor.
To know more about Varsha visit, www.thewinningimpression.com/about/