If I had a penny for every speaker that told me they were good on stage, they were really ‘confident’…I could buy a really cool electric skateboard. Just remember many people have said they’re confident swimmers too, just before they showed us their best doggie paddle and were saved by a lifeguard.
Of course, I’m not writing this to knock anyone’s confidence either, that’s the opposite of what I’m about, I genuinely love seeing people succeed and step up and out, however, if this said word is your ace card on stage then your audience is in trouble.
To be a great Presenter we must first know what makes ‘great’, and then we can aim to invite these qualities in.
Confidence for me, after 25 years in this business is the absolute core trust of my ability, it is what I call bone deep.
When our confidence is built on a shallow layer of bravado, then when we’re tested this tends to crumble incredibly fast and in spectacular fashion. A great example is a boxer who is all bravado in the lead up to the fight and when the fight takes place and he doesn’t get his own way the confidence fades very fast and the self-doubt creeps in for all to see.
I actually don’t believe a great speaker needs to be overly confident, I’ve seen shy and introverted Presenter’s who have melted my heart and given me the incredible value from their time on stage. Their ace card was they knew their sh*t!
Qualities I install into Presenter’s, or anyone I work with on any level is their foundation, the very elements confidence may come from, and that is knowing their area of Authority inside out, back to front and how to articulate it in a way that is engaging, thoughtful and unique.
So what are some examples of things confidence could be a by-product of?
· Know your sh*t. Which is street talk for know your area of authority
· Develop character by doing, failing, succeeding, living a full life, traveling. These are some things that build character
· Know how to use stories to engage and make points
· Know how to clearly articulate your message
· Know how to effectively use your voice
· Be awesome at a bone-deep level
· Have a framework to Present within
· Know your value on stage
When we are aware and become more focused on the skills laid out above, we’re able to become far more consciously aware of the journey we want to take our audience on and own the space on stage in a way that is not only confident but one of which is high in value due to our bone-deep set of skills and tools.
The more we know our sh*t, the more we begin to own our destiny. Opportunities open up because we fully trust ourselves and our networks trust us also.
It’s valid to mention that when I was thick into my acting and TV Presenting in my 20’s I was dead set on getting opportunities and was confident I had what it took to be successful. With the beauty of hindsight now, I can see the confidence was also naivety. I now travel the world mentoring Presenters. I can say in the kindest way to myself, Dude…I’m International’. But it’s not confidence that’s got me here, it’s determination, passion and an unwavering desire to keep getting better by absolutely knowing my sh*t.
Confidence is a beautiful thing, no doubt about it, however, it’s handy to remind ourselves where it truly comes from.