Nurture your courage
Finding the confidence to make your voice heard can be a daunting prospect, but practice makes perfect.
“You can grow your confidence muscle in the same way you would your muscles in the gym,” says Ros Toynbee, founder of The Career Coach. “The more practice you have and the more difficult things you do, the easier it becomes.
“We are all work-in-progresses, but neuroscience teaches us that we respond and grow better in the light of praise (our own or others) than in the mud of criticism. Self compassion when we do screw up is a vital skill to learn when building courage. When there is failure, treat yourself in the way that you would treat a friend: with kindness and empathy.”
Practice and prepare
The average person ranks the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death, but there are clever ways you can transform nerves into the perfect delivery.
“Remind yourself of a time when you were confident, and take a few minutes to replay the scenario in your head,” says Ros. “Bring your body into the position that it was when you were confident, the gestures you used, your direct gaze and rehearse yourself doing well at the upcoming presentation, handling questions with a calm yet warm authority.
“Keep holding that same body language as you walk into the room and give your presentation. Fake it if you need to because you’ll soon see that the more practice you get, the better you’ll become”.