3 Tools To Help You Be More Confident And Effective.
The two themes that continue to run through my public speaking coaching and training workshops are, “How can I be more confident” and “How can I be more effective” when I am speaking to a group of people. While other themes around, body language, structure, use of story, being influential and persuasive are always there, the big two are confidence and effectiveness.
I have 3 Ps that I teach to help people be more confident and effective and these Ps are less about the skills, tools and techniques and more about mindset and attitude. The 3 Ps are Poise, Presence, and Passion. Let me build on each one.
Earl Wilson described poise as “the ability to be ill at ease inconspicuously.” So as public speakers we will feel nervous and nerves are an important part of public speaking. So if we can feel uncomfortable while public speaking but look in control and look confident then we will do a great job. Poise is about keeping calm and in control while under fire or under pressure. Poise comes from being focused on the audience and being of service to your audience. If you focus on why you are there and how you are going to help your audience and focus on the issues that you will solve for your audience, then they are going to be appreciative and receptive of your message. All of this can be done confidently and effectively, even with your nerves, if you can display poise.
Presence is that air of confidence that you have when you walk into a room and you walk on stage. It is your smile, your posture, your slow and steady breathing, your eye contact and your open and congruent nonverbal communication. Amy Cuddy in her TED talk, explains how we can fake confidence by simply displaying confident body language. The metaphor I like to use is that of the beautiful and majestic black swans that glide effortlessly across Lake Monger. Often in groups of 3 or more and they form that perfect V pattern and a gentle wave emanates from their wake. Simply it is poetry in motion. But, as we know under the water the legs are going at 100 miles an hour. This is presence. Standing up, smiling looking confident even when you may be very nervous. Out presence can be practised, and it will hide our nerves and make us look confident.
Passionate speakers look confident and passion helps you to build trust and connect with your audience. Passion is not just about raising your voice and having animated gestures. Passion is having that absolute conviction in, and alignment with your message and your purpose. Passionate people come across as authentic and genuine and their focus is on helping their audience in one way or another.
The passion will drive your presentation and it will help hold the nerves at bay, or at least allow you to go about your presentation and public speaking, because you are passionate about your message. Passionate people place the importance of their message above their nerves and any fear of public speaking. The passion drives them.
If confidence and effectiveness are two of your goals in public speaking and you are clear on your message and why it matters, then Poise, Presence and Passion will go a long way to helping you get there.