To build your confidence in speaking, it’s necessary to be honest with yourself. You need to clearly know where your strengths are. And of course you must realize where you need to improve.
Looking At Your Speaking Challenges
If you don’t know what the problem is, it’s impossible to find a solution. Right? So yes, it’s true — to improve your speaking, you need to acknowledge areas that aren’t strong for you. You DO need to take a close look. And it’s really helpful – even if it’s also scary – to get some outside assistance with this.
You can probably identify by yourself some areas you want to strengthen. That’s a great start. Now get some other ears on the job, too. Solicit feedback from colleagues, friends, and Mastermind buddies.
Family and partners can be helpful, too. But sometimes their emotional connection can interfere with how much help they really are – either by sugar-coating things or (the flip side) being hyper-critical.
Guard Your Precious Heart
When you’re speaking – especially in regards to your business – you’re putting yourself out there. To some degree, your heart is on the line. You’re exposing yourself and your baby (your business) to the world. This is the fundamental reason why fear of speaking can loom so large.
When you’re truly being yourself – the best way to speak — you are definitely taking a risk. So you need to take care to be gentle with yourself.
Stop The Brutality
When you listen to recordings of yourself, or think about your speech afterwards, don’t be harsh. Stop the scolding and name-calling. You can be honest and kind at the same time. As Julia Cameron says in The Artist’s Way, “Give yourself permission to be a beginner.”
And choose your other critics and coaches with care. If you have friends who are honest but totally in-your-face, don’t solicit feedback from them. Pick supportive people who have more finesse.
Why It Matters
This isn’t just a feel-good, coddling approach to receiving criticism of your speaking. It’s actually an important factor in being able to progress more quickly in your speaking ability.
As you’re developing your speaking confidence, it’s so important to relax. You won’t do that if you’re subconsciously guarding against a pending attack. You’ll tense up in defense against the harsh criticism you’re afraid is coming. Having a brutal critic – you or someone else – will slow your progress.
So help yourself speed up your improvement by being gentle in the way you look at your own performance. And find only constructive critics to help you find your areas for improvement.
When you’re ready to speed up your process of becoming a confident speaker, contact me and let’s get discuss how that could work.