Just fake it till you make it. How often have you heard that? I get that it can be of value in some situations such as public speaking, but I can’t imagine if I wanted to be a race car driver or gold medal winning downhill skier that by just faking it, it would guarantee my success.
Fortunately my thing is public speaking coaching so it is advice I can offer my clients that I know works.
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If you’re super nervous, fake it ‘til you feel it. Confidence that is. Nervous speakers are easy to spot. Their voices quiver, their breathing is shallow and they seem endlessly flustered. Though it is natural to feel a little nervous, overt anxiety can give the wrong impression.
Faking confidence when speaking in public can be achieved by…
- Standing up straight
- Walking with authority
- Possessing a zen-like mindset
I’d worked at a number of suburban gyms for ten years, delivered well-planned classes and had a solid following. My focus as an instructor was to always ensure classes were fun and the participants always got a solid workout. On one occasion I was asked to fill in a class at one of the city’s most prestigious gyms. Now, I was rarely nervous about instructing as I had been doing it for a long time and knew I could easily step in and deliver a quality class. But I didn’t.
What let me down was my anxiety about the image I was projecting. As I wasn’t one of those cutesy 20 year olds with a fabulous body, I began to judge myself and how I would be perceived in this trendy setting. Instead of the usual confident and competent instructor, I let my fears of the enormity of the event get in the way and I projected exactly how I felt. A nervous, hesitant, inexperienced, unprepared instructor. Needless to say, it was my first and last class at that gym. Once I got over the disappointment, I was able to look back at the lesson and understand that I had projected exactly the image I had perceived of myself and have worked hard since to ensure that hasn’t happened again. Read More in my Book “Good Girls Do Sell“
To counteract your panic, feign self-assurance. Remember the five P’s. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel when standing in front of an audience.
- Focus on past successes
- Perception is projection
- Every time you speak it is a learning experience
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in
between are the doors of perception.” …. Aldous Huxley
Best wishes till next time.