‘Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication’.
(Roger Staubach, American Athlete, born 5th Feb, 1942)
Roger Staubach has a very good point…which is why I chose this quote to open this blog.
Confidence only develops with consistent practice and…it takes work.
For all of us, there will be certain scenarios where we feel more confident. We need to get curious when it comes to audience engagement. Why we are more confident in certain situations, and less so in others?
Often, not always but often, it has something to do with familiarity. We are familiar with a place, person, topic, task .etc…
It is when we are approaching something for the first time that our confidence can waiver, or indeed vanish completely.
The other most common cause of us losing our confidence is the unexpected.
An example…we’re presenting material to our audience that we are extremely familiar with. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, comes an unexpected question, an unexpected technical fault, an unexpected person enters the room…etc…. And in that moment, our confidence disappears.
The material that we are so familiar with goes out of our head. The faces looking at us suddenly become expectant and threatening rather than engaged and receptive.
I wanted to present the definition above because I believe it is useful to be reminded that the word ‘confidence’ is rooted in the Latin ‘to have full trust’.
This is certainly true of all the moments I can think of when my confidence has been intact…it is a feeling of ‘self-trust’, as well as a trust in others.
Most importantly, it is when our audience places their trust in us.
That is the ultimate feeling of confidence.
When our audience trusts us, we are much more likely to trust ourselves.
As a professional actress, I have experienced a diverse selection of situations on stage, on screen, and when being interviewed. Each time, I have had to find a way to create a direct line to the authentic confidence needed to perform, to listen, and to respond accordingly.
My work is all about building confidence in a way that allows you to instantly tap into your own version of confidence. It needs to feel both connected to our audience, as well as being present enough to flex that level of confidence when needed.
It can all sound so cerebral when we write about confidence…
It is the practice…it is the rehearsal that allows us to strengthen our ability to ‘do it’.
It is a muscle, and along with every other practice, it simply will not strengthen if it is not put into action, consistently. Being confident.
Being present, particularly in this remote world, is the single most important skill that we can develop when it comes engaging our audiences.