Why making yourself vulnerable will boost your confidence

Do you need a confidence boost?

When we are new to something, our confidence may be delicate. We are more sensitive to feedback, positive or negative.

An expert does not have this problem. The seasoned public speaker won’t start doubting her ability after two consecutive talks in which the audience seemed bored; she has a big sample of successful talks to base her beliefs on.

But when we are new, we do not yet have that big sample. How can we be confident despite a lack of experience?

It can be tempting to feign confidence. But that’s hard work and most people will see right through it. Instead, make yourself vulnerable. You do this by being honest.

On stage, mention that you’re new to speaking, but also say that you’ve prepared and that you will do your best to communicate clearly. Don’t apologize for being new and don’t dwell on your inexperience, but give the audience a heads up.

When you make yourself vulnerable, you put yourself out there. People will respect that and they will encourage you.

Beyond that, when you make yourself vulnerable, you have nothing to lose. You do not have an image to maintain. You can just be you, whatever your level of skill.

So be honest about where you’re at. It will boost your confidence and it’s also just easier.

Yours,

— Peter

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