Whenever one is beset by a situation that he or she is unsure of - facing someone admired, having to perform in front of an audience, or simply talking to others - he or she is facing a goodly amount of stress. Confident people are usually able to face these situations without blinking; but the rest of us will probably melt away and try to run away from the situation.
For most people facing this kind of low self-esteem, these situations present an opportunity for them to make fools out of themselves. This is a very embarrassing prospect.
If you are one of the millions of people that would like to stop fidgeting in front of others, trying to squirrel out of such situations, and being so unsure of yourself when facing presentations, here are a few tips to set you on your way.
1. Competence is Confidence - Some organizations, like the Toastmasters, help those afraid to speak in public toughen up by stressing this credo - and it really works. One secret to confidence and self-esteem is to be able to trust what you are able to do. This comes with a lot of practice and study. Whenever you practice a given skill, you increase your own confidence in your capability to perform even in front of other people.
Before a big presentation, study up. Try to know everything about the topic before you step in front of the audience. If you have practiced way before the presentation, you will be in a better position to knock their socks off.
Practicing in front of supportive people you trust will help you get feedback on how to improve your performance.
2. Believe in Yourself - One of the reasons people are not confident in themselves is the fact that they are already convinced that they will fail even before anything happens. Never underestimate the power of the mind. If you believe you will fail, you indeed will! A better exercise would to be to believe that you can succeed. Set your mind towards succeeding and you probably will!
3. Take Criticisms, whether Good or Bad - Most people are bad at taking criticisms. Instead of taking the criticisms personally, use every comment and suggestion to make yourself better. However, you will also have to look out for some criticisms that were never meant to benefit you. Ignore them and move on.
4. Remain Calm at All Costs - Panicking never benefited anybody. If you are suddenly in a situation where you are unsure of what to do or what will happen, keep your composure. If you don't know the answer, say so calmly. If you do not know what to do, it would not be bad to admit it. However, beneath your cool facade, always try to keep a deliberate, quick thinking, demeanor. This itself could take a lot of practice, but it is well worth it.
5. Don't be Afraid to Fail - Many people are afraid to fail; they quit trying because they are not confident in their skills. If you are afraid to try, you will get stuck where you are. Failure can only make you better. Remember that every great man took risks and failed a lot before arriving at greatness.
6. Don't Base Your Confidence on What People Think Of You - While others opinion of you can be important, it should not sway you from thinking that you are important. They do not know you better than you do. If you free yourself from the shackles of peer opinion, you will be free to try new things and learn new skills. It does not matter if they think you cannot accomplish anything - take whatever good that can be gleaned from their advice and move on.
Have a confident and positive day,
Thanks to Shaun Samuel for these great tips!