Public Speaking – A quick and easy CONFIDENCE HACK

This is an AI generated transcript so please forgive any errors and spelling mistakes. 

When you stand up to do a bit of public speaking, do you ever feel like “oh, I don’t have the confidence to do this… I’m not good enough… I shouldn’t be here…”. Well, today I want to share a tip with you, a little hack if you like, that will hopefully diminish and reduce those feelings of lack of confidence. So if you bear with me for just a moment I’m going to share that hack with you.

First, my name is Shola Kaye. I’m a public speaking coach and a professional speaker based in London. I have clients all around the world. I work with organisations, with companies, sometimes with tech groups who need to prepare their speakers for conferences and high-stakes meetings. And also with individuals whether they want to improve their career trajectory by being better speakers. Or whether they perhaps run a business and want to get out there and represent their business.

Let’s get back to the point, shall we? How can you boost your confidence and get out there and speak in front of audiences without having that chatter going on? Saying “you look good enough at this… you need more practice… why are you there?… they’re all looking at you, they’re judging you…” etc etc etc.

Public Speaking – quiet the negative chatter and take action

Just recently I read a book by an author called Stephen Guise and the title is How to Be an Imperfectionist. A lot of us are perfectionists and we find that we procrastinate or we have that negative chatter or we ruminate and think over things a lot before we take action. This can happen with our public speaking as well.

Perhaps we’re supposed to create a presentation and we procrastinate, and leave the creation of it to the last minute. Or we have that negative talk that stops us from taking wonderful opportunities that could really enhance a career or boost our business. Or indeed we just self-sabotage and tell ourselves negative things about ourselves that stop us from really excelling when we’re in front of an audience or excelling for us according to where we are in our public speaking journey.

The book by Stephen Guise and the title is How to Be an Imperfectionist is full of little hacks and tips and tricks that can help you stop thinking and stop procrastinating and start taking action. One of the tips that I want to share with you today is this which is to tell yourself that you are the best. Anyone know that song by Tina Turner simply the best?. This is something that I now sing to myself in certain circumstances to remind myself of this little hack that I’m going to share with you.

Public Speaking – the hack: tell yourself you’re the best at something

What he suggests is even when you’re in a situation where you’re feeling a bit out of out of your depth – for example, you’ve got to make a presentation you’re not feeling very confident about it – one thing that can help boost your confidence is to tell yourself that you are the best at something. It may not be that you are the best at public speaking in the room, or in the world, or in your company, but you might be the best at putting your daughter to bed at night or you might be the best at changing your baby’s nappies, right? Or you might be the best at tiddlywinks, you might be the tallest person in the room, you might have the loudest voice.

For some reason if we tell ourselves we are the best at something, then even if it’s just temporarily it gives ourselves a little boost and that little boost can be enough to get you over the hump of fearing a presentation it could be enough to get you over the hump of delaying writing or creating a present until the last minute because you’re afraid or you think it’s not good enough. Sometimes just that little spark is all that’s needed to give us the push that we that we require to get us to the next step.

Public Speaking – you can use it in any situation

Let me share a little story with you. I was in Cyprus in September of this year working, actually doing some performances and gigs, and sometimes I get a little bit of social anxiety. It crips up at the weirdest of times. I was in this supermarket looking for some, I don’t know, soya milk or something, and I’m walking around and I had this moment of “I don’t know where anything is in this supermarket, everybody here knows this supermarket like the back of their hand and they know exactly where things are but I don’t now”.

Where the heck that thought came from, I’ve no idea. It didn’t serve any purpose whatsoever but it was slightly debilitating for a couple of moments. Then I thought “hold on a second Shola, what’s wrong with you? You are the best Diana Ross tribute act in the room”. Now, what does being a tribute act have to do with being in a supermarket in Cyprus? Absolutely nothing! But it made me laugh and it made me think “yes, you are, I’m probably the only one in there, the only one in the whole island”. And it gave me that extra bit of “I can do this, I’m gonna sit up a bit taller”. I was smiling to myself, laughing, as I carried on round the supermarket. Of course, I found my almond milk, everything was fine, queued up and left.

Then in the same way I shared that story and I share be exercise with a group of people I was working out at a company. I said to them “right, before you come up and you practice your presentation in front of this group I want you to tell yourself what is it that you’re the best at?”. One guy said “I’m the tallest person in the room”. Fantastic. Another person said “I’ve got the loudest voice in this room”. Great. There was a guy there who said “I’m the best skier in the room”. And that little boost can be enough to get you to as I say stand a bit taller, get your shoulders back, have a bit more pride, confidence, as you step up to the front and do your thing in front of the audience.

Public Speaking – keep it honest to make this work for you every time

It may seem a bit strange, I’m sure you’d much rather say “I’m the best public speaker in my whole company” but the reality is you’re not. If you tell yourself that, if you know it’s a lie, your brain knows it’s a lie and it’s not going to help. But if you can genuinely say “I’m the best at mmm” that’s what it’s doing is it’s say to your brain “yes, I am the best at this and I can one day be the best at public speaking, so let’s give it a go and let’s get through this!”

I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist. This is the hack and it’s worked for me and it’s worked for my clients, so why not try it? Take a moment now think about something you’re the best at. You might be the best tiddlywinks player, you might be the best person in your household at changing light bulbs, doesn’t really matter. As long as you’re the best at it, keep that in your mind and in your heart.

Next time you need that extra little boost of confidence just tell yourself “I’m the best at mmm…” and then have a go at that public speaking. Get up in front of the audience. Speak up in the meeting. It might be that it’s just giving you a bit of activation energy to make sure that you do take the action. Then once you’ve taken the action then it’s downhill from there on, you just sort of coast. And the hardest part is done. When I say downhill, not as in your performance goes downhill, but just it’s easier from there.

It’s worked for me and it’s work for my clients too. So why don’t you give it a try?

That’s it from me today. Remember you are simply the best! Do it and give it a try because it could work for you. I hope it does. In the meantime take care, connect with me on LinkedIn Shoal Kaye. And go to my website and download a couple of freebies, why not?

Take care and I’ll speak to you soon.


P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you improve your speaking or grow your business:

1 – Get my free guide – 27 places to find speaking opportunities.

Find out where your next speaking opportunity might come from – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced speaker.

2 – Join my Facebook Group – Public Speaking for Female Coaches and Entrepreneurs.

Join us for tips, discussions and community!

3 – Are you an ambitious coach, consultant or small business owner? If you’d like to wow your audiences and find more speaking opportunities, then watch the FREE on-demand training video here:

4 – Find out about my VIP Days and private coaching. Book me for a VIP half or full-day session if you want to make some serious progress!