This is not to say that it’s a simple process; it’s complex and takes a lot of effort.
To increase confidence, I strongly suggest the following:
- Take a deep breath.
- Create a sense of calm.
- Practice what you are going to say in your head before going into the interview.
- Rehearse what you are going to say in your head before the interview.
- Don’t try and bluff your way through your interview.
- Periodise your responses.
So you’re feeling confident, now what?
There is no magic formula, just some hard-learned lessons. I will summarise and share my top tip to increase confidence.
Take a deep breath
This simple exercise is not an obvious solution to confidence building. But you will be amazed at what it does.
You will feel calmer, your body language will be better and you will start to see yourself more positively in the mirror.
I often remind myself to take a deep breath as I get in the taxi or on the bus to the venue.
I find deep breathing deeply calming and calming. You are breathing for half a minute, your body relaxes and your breathing slows.
Breathing increases your levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, which is associated with increased confidence.
It also helps you to slow down, think and enjoy what is happening around you.
Once you get into the venue, take another deep breath. You will probably feel a little more relaxed.
Visualizing success is a great confidence-building exercise.
It can help to turn on a “deer in the headlight” feeling when you are feeling nervous or anxious.
The trick is to use your imagination to bring yourself to the point of action, where you want to be.
Once you feel yourself becoming aware of that, take a deep breath and build from there.
Write your thoughts
Once you know what you want to say, you can start to write it out.
When you write it out, you can work out the wording.
You can proofread your writing, making sure that it’s clear and concise, and is easy to understand.
When you feel that you are ready to present your knowledge, your body language will change.
Make sure that your brain is 100% engaged before you start your presentation.
This is the point in the talk where you will most likely be feeling the most nervous.
I like to ask myself, “Is my body language showing I am engaged, and is my brain 100% engaged?”.
If you can say that to yourself and feel it, then you are in the home straight. Keep checking in and you will go through fine.
Practice your body language
I am a huge advocate of body language. When you are about to speak, are you standing like a lion?
Or are you slouching? I tend to stand with a slight lean to my left, close to the audience.
Check-in and check out; see if you can feel yourself standing differently?
Do you feel yourself leaning more to the left or straightening up?
You need to change your body language, whether it’s you physically getting ready to speak or just your body language when you are waiting to speak.
If you don’t feel 100% engaged, simply smile and reassure the audience that you are totally engaged.
Practice your opening
Research shows that the most comfortable place to stand is to take up the most space.
The less space you take up, the more nervous you feel.
Practice this before your big talk. Stand in a room and see if you feel comfortable standing there.
Then rehearse walking in, speaking, and then walking out. Practice it like a test.
Optimize your breathing and limit your nerves
The first time you are in front of a crowd, you will probably be really nervous.
It’s a state of mind.
Take in a big breath and concentrate on exhaling slowly and trying to focus on the sense of relief that you will feel after your talk.
Try to minimize the volume of your breathing.
Try to limit your nerves and I can guarantee that after doing this, you will feel much more relaxed.
Let go of the negative self-talk
Don’t worry about what you’ve just said; the most important part is that your audience heard you.
You don’t have to worry about how you sounded.
Be selective about your social media and online mentions.
I know that social media is an excellent way to promote yourself and your events. But try to be selective about the kind of posts you do.
Don’t post your messages to an entire army of people.
Follow some people for networking purposes, and block people who might be a nuisance and a distraction. I would recommend blocking people for up to two weeks.
Do a brain dump
What would you rather be doing right now?
Sitting on your bum, alone, with a book or something more productive, for example going for a walk?
Or making phone calls and getting out there and doing some networking.
This question will stop you from procrastinating. Remember, there is a reason you are taking the break, it’s not just a ‘catch-up with you later.
Set your goals and targets
I find that setting goals and targets helps to keep me focused.
It also helps to keep me on track, because you want to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
Set targets with yourself, by doing a big mental picture of what you want your business to look like in six months.
Focus on the result. What are the desired outcomes you are striving for?
What do you want to achieve by being successful?