Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Boost Your Confidence!

Posted on: March 29, 2011

The three principles of self-assurance are clarity, confidence and commitment.

So, how do you demonstrate confidence when you’re shaking in your boots?

How can you create a presentation that is clear and compelling?

What do you need to know to convince your audience?

If you are confident, there is no mountain too high, no valley too low, no river too wide to keep you from reaching your goals.  But what if you’re not feeling confident?  What if every little word going through your head is telling you, “You can’t do this”?

Start by cutting off the negative self-speak.  “Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right,” said Henry Ford.  Given the choice, go for the positive.  Look for what you do well and remind yourself on a regular basis.  Why waste time and energy being your own worst enemy when a little bit of positive self-talk can lead you to success?

Next, find yourself a role model.  Someone credible.  Someone who speaks with passion and conviction.  Someone whose way of presenting makes you sit up and take notice.

Once you’ve picked your person, observe their behaviour.  What does that person do that rings true for you?  Is it the way they use their voice?  Is it how they command attention through stance and gesture?  Is it how they use their eyes to connect with their audience?  Chances are it’s all of the above.

Once you have noted the behaviour, make it your own.  Look at your audience, not at the floor (ceiling, wall, table).  When you move, move with purpose.  When you speak, speak from your core.  Smile.  If you look like you’re enjoying what you’re doing your audience will enjoy the experience with you.

Self-trust is the first secret of success. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

All of us are hit from time to time with bouts of self-doubt.  The occasional bout is normal and keeps us humble.  When the bouts become a way of life, however, we stand little chance of achieving our goals and realizing our self-worth.  Negativity is a draining emotion.  It can lead to depression and self-destructive behaviour. It can make a person ill.  Successful people don’t give air time to negative self-talk.  Successful people have a belief in their own abilities.  They claim their space and welcome others into it.  They know they have the right to speak and to be heard.  If you act like a confident person you will feel confident.  And the more confident you feel, the more confident you will be.

When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun.  And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. – Joe Namath

 Remember, communication is a contact sport.  The audience only receives what you put out.  It doesn’t matter if you feel confident or not.  If you act as if you are confident, that is what the audience will receive and believe.  And if the audience believes you are confident, you’ll find yourself agreeing with them!

Here are three things you can do to improve your confidence:

  1. No More Negative Self-Talk.  If you find yourself saying, “I can’t…” change the wording to “I can…”  At first it may feel uncomfortable; it may sound false to your ear; you may even fall into the trap of saying, “Yes, but…”  Stick with it.  The more you substitute positive language for self-denying, self-destructive messages the more positive and confident you will feel.
  2. Model Excellence.  Look for those people who inspire you in the way they communicate.  Observe what they do, the way they move, the way they speak.  Note their gestures, the variety in their voices, the way they engage with their listeners.  Make those techniques your own. 
  3. Practice.  To change behaviour takes time and commitment.  The more you practice the more comfortable and confident you will feel.  Before long, you will be presenting with clarity, confidence and commitment.  And won’t that be fun!

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

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