Can you Teach me Confidence?

Presentation SkillsThis is the most frequent request of learners on Presentation Skills courses and Trainer Training courses – and on plenty of other interpersonal skills programmes as well.  Sometimes people call it “presence” or “self assurance”. Basically, it’s “when I stand up in front of others, can you teach me how to feel and how to project confidence?”

In a recent article in The Times (Wednesday, 29th May 2013) Richard Morrison reviewed a one-day course run by RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), aimed at teaching business people not only how to use voice and language, but how to project “personality” when neither speaking nor gesticulating. Edward Kemp, the artistic director of RADA is quoted as explaining, those who know how, “…can adjust their status so they are slightly above the person they are hoping to influence …and the skill can be hugely valuable”.

The one or two day RADA programme sounds intriguing, if expensive. At MLR, we believe the road to confidence when speaking in front of others is perhaps more concrete, simpler and less costly.

There are three essentials to feeling and projecting confidence:

  1. Know your subject
  2. Structure what you want to say and plan how to say it
  3. Practise

Any speaker who falls down on even one of these essentials will naturally and inevitably feel apprehensive (“what if I get in a muddle/run out of time/can’t answer a question…? etc). And on the basis that what we feel on the inside shows on the outside, that lack of full confidence will leak out to your audience one way or another.

But if you can tick all three of these boxes, not only will you feel confident, and deservedly so – you’ve earned that right – but you will also project the relaxed and confident manner which assures the audience that the presentation is in good, professional hands.

For more information on projecting confidence, see MLR’s training programmes on Presentation Skills and Trainer Training

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