Are you feeling a bit nervous when talking to a group of people?
Uncomfortable being in the spotlight when you are in a networking event?
Declined multiple speaking gigs just because you are not confident enough to talk on stage?
Here are some real-life confidence boosting principles by 9 outstanding women in the entrepreneurial world.
Laurel Mintz – Everyone is faking it.
Whenever women ask me how I do what I do (speaking on stages, pitching clients, on-camera talent), the first thing I always tell them is, “everyone is faking it”. Once you realize that, everything gets easier. You stop comparing yourself and are able to focus on your personal growth as a speaker and leader. The truth is, I’m just as insecure as you are, I just fake it better.
Also, practice makes perfect. Before I felt confident pitching some of the biggest brands in the world and commanding large audiences, I pitched small clients and spoke in small groups. That way I could mess up in low-pressure environments and evolve my pitch accordingly.
Finally, looking the part is key. I rarely wear black at an event because my goal is to stand out not be the shrinking violet. It’s amazing what a fabulous outfit can do to boost your confidence, even when you’re faking it. You got this!!
Victoria Cairl – Pinpoint Your “Big Three”
To prep for any meeting, pitch or presentation I do the following:
1) Focus on the Take-a-Ways– I find a quiet space alone to nail done “the big three” takeaways I need to get across and write them down. Don’t write out a script, just those three points. Your message has to be simple enough to fit on one page of text maximum and easy enough to get through in a short span of time.
2) Find a Friend– Next, I rehearse a bit by running “the big three” by a friend or colleague, just to make sure what I am trying to convey makes sense to a stranger and make sure they tell me any questions they have
3) Fire Away– Now there are only three things to get through, that can give you the confidence to charge through and nail that meeting, pitch or presentation.
When you think of yourself and you’re being conscious, you implicitly behave selfishly.
This is because you put yourself before the person who will be benefiting from your presence or knowledge. Most people speak for the sake of being heard. But there are also some who speak for the sake of helping others, inspiring others, or even to entertain others. Put the listener’s benefit in front of yours and deliver what you’re supposed to deliver the best way you can.
Power posing is about cueing your body to take on the role of a leader, or a position of power – and public speaking requires you to assume the role of a leader for the entire time you are on stage.
Dr. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard psychologist advocates about 2-5 minutes of power posing in the restroom or a private space before heading into the arena, whether it is a presentation or a major talk. Of course, a lot of confidence flows from just knowing your subject very well
Confidence is the key to everything, yes everything in life. Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. Believe that you have it. Believe and know that as a woman, you are more believable, credible and very capable
Let’s take this step by step. Assuming you have a presentation or a simple sales pitch to make or you may just have a meeting.
The first step is to prepare for it, however simple the meeting may promise to be. Take a piece of paper and jot down your thoughts… Just let your pen flow. Don’t be too critical of your writing skills when penning down your thoughts. Just write whatever comes to your mind. Do not edit at this stage.
Once you are done, now read what you have written and see if you have covered all the points that you want to be covered. This will help clarify and streamline your own thoughts. It will help you sift the irrelevant from the relevant and put things in sharp focus.
Next step (if needed) is to clear your throat and practice saying your piece in front of the mirror. Practice till you have the flow perfect. You will find your confidence firmly climbing up.
Another tool to help you perfect conversations is to do a role play. Get a friend, family member, even a colleague to enter into a conversation with you, the way you would actually have in any real situation. Give a presentation to your friends and have them ask you questions. This will greatly enhance your confidence.
And let me reiterate this: Confidence is the key. If you know what you are doing, if you believe in your idea, in your offering, if you know it will help your customer/client, just go for it. Do not be bound by language proficiency. Convincing someone is all about confidence, less about language skills. Present your ideas in a basic, simple manner- this can be a very powerful tool.
When you believe in yourself, when you have confidence, the vibrations carry thru to the other people who you interact with. Dress well. Dress for the life you want to lead, for the person that you want to be, irrespective of the people around you. You don’t have to buy expensive clothes/ jewelry etc. Dressing well is all about good grooming, simplicity, and style. Never ever ape anyone. Wear what you feel comfortable in, what suits your body type. If you like what you see in the mirror, your confidence will go up several notches.
Self-belief and confidence are my two mantras of powering thru any aspect of life with aplomb and success.
Talking to clients, presenting sales pitches, public speaking, and occasionally even going to work can be extremely anxiety-inducing. Sometimes fear paralyzes us because the unknown feels horrible.
Please know this – being brave and confident does not mean lacking fear. Most people who seem to have it together are just pushing through the pain and discomfort of dread.
Once you decide you are going to do this – rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Memorize a script and know it like the back of your hand. The next step is to visualize yourself giving the presentation, speech, or being a part of that important meeting.
If putting on the outfit you will wear that day and practice in front of the mirror helps – then do that. Have fun with it! Sometimes, rituals can help as well. For me, chamomile tea helps me breathe and relax. Other times, I use Bach Flowers – because whether it works or not, the symbolism that I’m curing or helping myself makes me feel in charge of my self-healing and powerful.
Wanda Thibodeaux – Take the risk
It’s natural to feel scared when you do anything where you could fail or be judged. It’s nature’s way of protecting you by preventing you from deviating too far from the group. But that feeling based in the idea you’re not good enough, not capable enough, not smart enough, that’s all it is. A feeling. It doesn’t determine or erase your skills, intelligence or potential. Alone, it is not sufficient evidence that disaster is going to come to pass. And what’s more, we all feel this. Everyone else is trying to convince themselves to take the first step or to keep pushing, too!
So take the risk. Even if you stumble, you can learn. People would rather see those blunders and the subsequent growth than a lack of realistic self-conviction. And if you keep learning, successes will come and build your confidence. Then the only way to go is up.
For me personally, there’s a phrase my dad always said to me growing up that has instilled me with confidence in particularly anxiety-inducing situations: “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” It seems so simple, and yet it can be easy to forget in intimidating, stressful situations.
As for another piece of advice for women trying to sum up the confidence to make the ask:
If you spend all your time waiting for the perfect moment to make your move, you might find you’re waiting for something that has already passed you by.
It seems so simple, but the best way to gain confidence in your presentation skills, regardless of the format, is to prepare your presentation or pitch and then to practice that presentation with people willing to give candid feedback.
If you are meeting a client, get informed on how they use your product, understand any issues they have experience and stay current on their needs by following them on social media.
If you are pitching to prospects, create a targeted pitch that shows you’ve done your homework and then actively involves the prospect in the conversation.
If you are presenting to an audience, make sure you understand the expectations for the presentation, particularly time constraints, and practice the presentation enough times that you have it down cold. The best presenters practice sounding off-the-cuff so that they appear in the moment but never miss a beat.