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5 ways to grow your confidence (& your sales) through public speaking

Which came first, the chicken or the egg??! It’s the age old conundrum that has everyone going round in circles.

In much the same way, feeling confident and public speaking is a real puzzler. You want to feel more confident speaking in public but you’re not good enough yet so you’ll wait a while until you feel more confident…. hmmm how’s that working out for you??

When people see me speaking in public they often say to me “I’d love to be able to do that but I don’t have the confidence” and I always say “neither did I until I started doing it”

Would you believe me if I told you that speaking in public is the absolute BEST way for you to grow your confidence AND your business? (I see you putting your hands over your ears so you don’t have to listen to me and can avoid this a little longer!)

Why put yourself through the agony of speaking in public?

Believe me I get it, you don’t want to put yourself through that crippling anxiety you feel when you have to introduce yourself and your business. You’re thinking, “Why does anyone care what I have to say?” so, you avoid networking events or being a guest on podcasts - missing out on valuable opportunities to expand your network and show your expertise.

The harsh reality is if you lack confidence in yourself and make your business seem insignificant then others will view it that way too and it’s going to affect your growth in more ways than one.

If you need some more convincing here’s 5 ways that public speaking helps to grow your confidence:

1 | Overcoming self doubt

One of the biggest barriers to business growth is self doubt. What if you can’t do it? What if you mess up? Add up all the time you’re wasting on these thoughts and imagine how much more productive you’ll be when you no longer doubt yourself.

When you do something you never thought you could do there’s no reason to doubt it any more, you’ve proved to yourself you can do it! Oh and if you can do the thing you fear the most, well you can pretty much do anything.

2 | Becoming more resilient to change

You can of course stay in your comfort zone forever doing all the things you’re good at and never challenging yourself. But how are you going to feel in 2 years time when your sales are static or worse still on the decline?

John Maxwell said “Change is inevitable but growth is optional” The world around you is constantly changing and your customers and potential customers are evolving, so they may need more from you in the future. Public speaking helps to stretch your comfort zone so that you’re prepared for the next big challenge whether it be a global pandemic (please no!) or the next big digital transformation.

3 | Developing a skill

Remember when you were learning to ride a bike and your Dad was running along with you holding you steady, then all of a sudden you realised he’d let go and you were actually doing it all by yourself! After a brief second of panic you suddenly felt so happy and proud of yourself - you could do it!

Learning a new skill gives you a real sense of achievement and belief in yourself. Developing your speaking skills will give you that same buzz. There are lots of ways to do this whether you prefer to work on your own, with a coach or as part of a supportive community.

4 | Pride in your business

Maybe you think no one will be interested in your story, that you’ve nothing inspirational to share? Well if you’ve started your own business after leaving the corporate world then there was probably a reason you made that bold move.

Every business has its ups and downs and there’s always someone who can learn from your experience so it’s a good idea to share your story. It takes courage to be vulnerable and speak about your failures as well as your successes. Learn to blow your own trumpet so that people can see how amazing it would be to work with you.

5 | Receiving positive feedback

One of the reasons that many people fear public speaking is because they are worried about negative feedback. If you don’t feel too confident then you might assume that people are going to criticise you.

In my experience this rarely happens for two reasons:

  1. you’re much better than you think you are

  2. people watching you appreciate how brave you are being and are generally encouraging

When you’re self employed you rarely receive positive feedback so speaking in public is one of the rare opportunities you get to hear how good you are!

I hope that this has convinced you that the overall impact of speaking in public is usually positive and confidence building.

This blog was inspired by the brave business women in the Bold Voices Speaking Academy who’ve shared how much their confidence has grown since they started working on their speaking skills.

How do you get started?

You don’t need to be confident to start speaking, you simply need to start speaking to become confident.

Start looking for opportunities and you’ll be surprised what pops up. Someone looking for a guest on their podcast? Get your name down! Networking group needing a speaker? You’ll do it!

Once you get started your confidence will soar and you will want to do more and more.

Sometimes all you need to get started is someone to believe in you. Why can’t that person be you?

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