People sometimes ask me: “What’s a good tip for confidence?”, as if:
- there’s some easy secret that unlocks speaking confidence (like Bradley Cooper’s pill in ‘Limitless’)
- they wouldn’t have heard about this magical technique already
- I’d be willing to tell them for free (oh come on, this thing’s the Holy Grail of speaking, and I have a business to run)
Guess what? There’s no quick and easy technique, there’s no easy route to speaking with confidence, you just have to put in the hard work. The best bit is that you knew this already.
There is a simple formula, but it’s not secret and it’s not easy:
Preparation x opportunity = success
- You have a presentation to give to the whole company. Write and rehearse something genuinely useful to them that’s also concise.
- You think you may bump into someone influential at an industry event. Memorise the 3 vital elements of your business and practise saying them in different orders, to different people, with different durations – anything from 30 seconds to just 5. Then when you’re put on the spot, the piece flows naturally as if you’re improvising.
- You’re about to pitch your company’s services to a major player. Be brutally honest about everything to gain their trust. Do you want to find out that they need? Then be completely open so that they reciprocate. The benefits/services of your offering are certainly important, but nothing without the trust of a personal connection.
Stop looking for the quick and easy and start applying the effective, regardless of the time and effort required.