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3 Secret Mind Hacks To Double Your Confidence When Speaking

 

When I was 13 years old I had a socially traumatic experience. I was asked to read in front of the class. I’ll never forget that moment, as I started to read I began to ‘stutter’. All of a sudden my whole world closed in on me. I could feel everyone’s eyes looking at me and judging my inability to read. It felt like everyone was thinking “Colin can’t even read, he must be pretty dumb”. I remember this one event negatively impacted me for over a decade.

It wasn’t until I got into my 20’s and realized this situation had shaped how I viewed public speaking, that I was able to deal with it.

How about yourself? Have you ever had a situation or circumstance that has negatively affected you and still impacts you today when you get up to speak? I think we all have our own challenges when it comes to speaking to an audience, whether that be online or a live stage.

So I wanted to give you 3 mind hacks that I use to help me overcome my fear and command the stage with absolute certainty.

  1. Focus on purpose – one of the biggest mistakes that people make is focusing on themselves when they speak in public. If you come into a presentation and are worried about what the audience will think of you, what your colleagues will say or whether they will like you, the feeling you’re going to experience is fear. But if you focus on the big purpose of why you’re presenting and the positive contribution you get to make, then all of a sudden you’ll feel different about the presentation.

Choose to focus on ‘purpose’ and you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll present better.

  1. Conscious breathing – it’s mind-blowing how much your breath impacts your level of confidence and presence when presenting. When you move into fear your breath will become shallow and short. If you consciously take longer slower deeper breaths right before you speak, your adrenaline will drop, your presence will increase and your ability to communicate will optimize.

Before every presentation, slow your breath down and be conscious of taking longer slower deeper breaths. Even take 2 deep breaths now and you’ll instantly notice your stress dropping.  This stuff works! It can instantly settle your nerves and get you into a state ready to be present with your audience.

  1. Get the speech in your body – so often we go into a presentation with a written speech, but not properly preparing our body.  We may have read our speech, but we haven’t got our speech into our body.

What I mean by that is practicing your presentation at least three times ‘out loud’ in front of the mirror or to a friend and allowing your body movements and feelings to experience it as you present.

You need to allow time for your mind, emotions and physical body to become familiar with the flow of your content so that you will be able to present effectively. The reason why this is so powerful is that when you’ve properly practiced it reduces the amount of mental cognition you need to be present.

If you don’t do this you’ll present in a way that feels clunky, awkward and disengaged. If you haven’t got your speech in your body, your mind will be working overtime to stay on track instead of actually connecting with your audience.

When I get up to present, whether it’s to 10 or 10,000 people I feel excited about the opportunity I have to make an impact on people’s lives, because I use these methods. There is no greater opportunity to have a chance to shift people’s thinking and impact the quality of their life through presenting.

Hope this has been helpful.

Happy presenting.

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