What to do when your confidence deserts you mid presentation

Talking Digital Laptop & Coffee

Confidence can be like a bad boyfriend

So you’ve got the topic, done the prep and you’re ready to go. Your audience is waiting, if not with baited breath then certainly with a cuppa and expectation. And you want to speak confidently.

You feel a little excited. You have good butterflies. But then…

You’re live. You freeze.

Suddenly your confidence has left you in the lurch like a bad first date escaping out the loo window.

What do you do now? How can you speak confidently when you’d rather give it all up like a bad joke?

Here are five ways to speak with confidence and put you back on the wagon while you’re live with an audience. Whether it’s a webinar, livestream, or in front of a group of rabid business networkers.

Remember the lag

If this is Facebook Live – remember that at the very beginning of a facebook live broadcast and throughout, there’s a lag. People don’t get the notification that you’re live for 30 seconds or so.

So once you’re live, smile at the lens so you are looking at people when they watch your video, collect your thoughts, take a breath, look at your cheat sheet if you have one, get ready…

And soldier on.

Start speaking

Talk about something. Anything. Just starting to talk and hearing your voice will shock you back into action.

Just commenting on the weather or saying hello to someone watching might be enough to get you on your way. Learning how to speak confidently takes practice – so the more you do this the better you’ll become.

A standard introduction

Have a standard intro like your favourite podcast.

Say something like:

Hi and welcome. I’m Jenny and today I’m joining you live to talk about xyz.

Having a standard opening line that you’ve practiced a few times will give you breathing space and improve your confidence. It also helps people get used to hearing the same thing from you – adding to their confidence in you and your brand

Slow down cowboy

Slow down your rate of speech. It’s interesting that the more nervous and excited we are about our topic, the faster and more out of breath we get.

I learnt a super valuable lesson speaking at a wedding once (read about it here)

In a nutshell, even though I thought I was speaking terribly slowly – in slow motion, because I was sucking in air in between lines of a poem and I didn’t want everyone to know I was out of breath – it was one of the best public speaking gigs I’d ever done. It has helped me for more than 30 years since.

Slow down. Regulate your breathing, so your heart rate slows. It seems like you’re speaking really slowly but it’s probably spot on.

Admit to your nerves

Against all the ‘expert advice’ I’m going to suggest you admit you’re feeling nervous and then crack on. Don’t wallow in it, or talk about it. Just mention it and get on with it.

Feeling nervous is normal. You’re putting yourself out there and people appreciate that. But stay on track so you and your awesome business message are front and centre and not you breathlessly apologising for being nervous and giving up mid message.

For example you could say  “full disclosure – I’m a bit nervous so I’m going to look at my notes/have a sip of water/take a breath etc.”

You can do this! Nervous about going live and want to practice? You can go live on your personal Facebook profile to ‘only me’ so no-one else sees it but you. Want to know how? Here’s a video tutorial (skip to 2.10 for the personal profile instructions).

Over to you

So there are the five ways to speak with confidence – do you have anything you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments if you have tried any of these tips and how they worked for you.

Need support to communicate naturally and confidently with your target market? Get in touch today – I’d love to hear from you

You May Also Like…

Access Your FreeTraining

Access Your FreeTraining

Make it easier to create videos that sell, without the self doubt and costly guesswork

Your Training is On The Way

Share This