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Fear of Public Speaking - What Is Confidence?

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 119

Confidence in Public Speaking

If you ever want to be a "confident public speaker", then it is absolutely crucial that you know what confidence really is before you resume your quest for confidence.

Lots of people tell me that they would like to be "a more confident speaker", or that they would like to be able to "speak with more confidence".

The usage of these terms seems to imply that confidence is something you get more of. It implies that currently you have a certain amount of it in public speaking and you can go and get more, as if you can just grab a chunk of it and insert it into your public speaking barrel of skills.

I've found that thinking about confidence in this way ends up making it more difficult to become more confident! If you think that it as something you can "attain", you will probably never attain it.

I used to think that confidence in public speaking was something that I could accumulate. I would "practice" confidence, like it was some sort of skill.When I would think of it in this old way I would try to "accumulate" it by trying to act or appear confident to my audience, and thought that as I spent more time appearing confident, true confidence would become natural.

What Does Confidence Look Like?

You've seen what a confident public speaker looks like - shoulders back, chest out, neck tall, eye contact strong and unwavering, voice commanding and inspiring, body language smooth and free, positive emotions emanating from within, proud stride... and many more that you are already thinking of.

These are behaviours and are the external manifestations of the internal state of confidence. Do you think that if you speak in front of an audience that usually makes you feel uncomfortable, and try to perform the behaviours of confidence you will feel "confident"? You will not. And what is worse is - you will not even be able to act in this way in the first place. Your body will simply refuse to carry out the behaviours associated with confidence because you are not truly in a state of confidence.

Confidence is an INTERNAL state. The behaviours that we associate in public speaking with confidence are external manifestations of confidence. The body AUTOMATICALLY acts in a confident way when the internal state is confidence.

The way to achieve a state of confidence is not to attain an ability to display the external manifestations of confidence - this strategy is a dead end. If you want to project confidence to your audience, you must access the internal state of confidence. Now the game has changed! How do you access the internal state of confidence on the stage? I will tell you! First, I want to tell you what confidence "is".

What Is the Internal State Called "Confidence"?

My favourite teacher, Eben Pagan, has suggested a way of looking at confidence, which you may find to be helpful. Here is the thing - there is no such thing as confidence!

Do you know the what a "privative" is? A privative is an absence of something. Like "cold" - this is a state involving a relative absence of heat. Or dark - a state involving a relative absence of light.

Scientists once tried to make a "cold magnifier". You know how you can use a magnifying glass to focus the suns energy at a single point? Well the scientists tried to make the equivalent for cold, using ice cubes. But you can not "aim" cold at something, because cold is just an absence of heat.

The only way to make something cold is to take heat out of it. If confidence is like this, then the only way to make yourself confident is to take something out of you. What could this be?

Eben Pagan suggested that the state of confidence is an absence of insecurities, fear, limiting beliefs, self-doubt etc. Think of the last time you were public speaking and felt extremely confidence - I will wager that you felt no fear, no insecurities, no limiting beliefs and no self-doubt. Correct?

How to Experience Confidence When Speaking More Often

Becoming a "confident" speaker is therefore a process of eliminating these negative anti-confidence factors. When you eliminate your insecurities, your fears, your limiting beliefs and your self-doubt, 100%, you will be "confident" all the time. I do not know of anyone who is confident all the time, but rest assured that as you begin to eliminate your anti-confidence mechanisms, you will experience confidence while speaking more and more.

Definitively I can say that as you eliminate/remove the blocks like insecurities etc, you will experience the state of confidence on the stage more frequently.

How much more simplistic does this make the problem of becoming a confident public speaker? From this new perspective, you have quantifiable tasks to complete. If you become aware of a specific insecurity, then you know how to become more confident - eliminate the insecurity. This article is not about eliminating insecurities etc - find these on my site linked to in the resource box.

I advise that you take this notion of confidence not just into your public speaking efforts, but into all areas of your life, because it will provide you with specific actions that you can take to become more confident in any area.

Visit my site for articles AND VIDEOS to help you overcome your fear of public speaking.

Overcome fear of public speaking NOW!

Source: EzineArticles
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