June 25, 2013

Remember your successes to build speaking confidence



Here's a simple trick for mustering up some confidence before your next presentation: Recall positive memories of public speaking from your past.

This Psychology Today article refers to a study where subjects recalled positive memories of speaking in front of an audience before giving a five-minute presentation:

"Subjects either wrote out a childhood memory of successfully addressing a group or wrote about a time they'd overcome an animal or medical phobia. Then they stood behind a podium and delivered a five-minute speech, while an evaluator in the audience intermittently winced and rolled her eyes. The students who had focused on a public speaking memory gave superior public speaking performances and had lower anxiety and cortisol levels, despite the disturbing feedback."

Check out the rest of the article for a couple of helpful tips for how to make this practice work for you.

Here's a blog post I wrote about remembering your courage in previous situations in order to move forward when facing a challenge. In it, I tell my own story of a courageous moment that was a turning point in my professional career.

Do you have a memory of a successful presentation that you can draw on the next time you're nervous about speaking? Please share in the comments!

Stay tuned for my free teleclass, "6 Tips for Growing and Showing Confidence Both On and Off the Stage (Even if You Have None!)" coming up on July 11, in which I'll share some of my favorite -- and super easy! -- tips and tricks for building your confidence muscles on and off the stage. Signups will start in a few days!

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