Today, I wanted to discuss the top six myths that affect confidence when speaking in public or presenting at live events.
These are six myths that people hold about their confidence that really start to affect their ability to show up and present in the most authentic way, and with the most level of empowerment and inspiration to get that audience to be inspired to take some action that changes their lives.
Each one of these six myths really is just that: it's just a myth. And these myths can be busted at any point in time.
After I've explained each of these myths, I'm going to give you a very simple process that you can use to make sure that they don't affect you any time in the future.
Myth 1. "Nobody Will Be Interested In What I Have To Say"
Having trained thousands of presenters now to run workshops, webinars, retreats and live events all over Australia and throughout the world, I know that at some point in time they're going to have a feeling inside themselves, the majority of them, where they actually think that nobody is going to be interested in what they have to say.
This is just a myth, but it's something that you need to be aware of.
With any of these six myths, just the awareness of the myth is one of the first steps to being able to deal with it, remove it, and get back to a state of confidence and empowerment.
Myth 2. "I Don’t Have Enough Experience"
Myth number two is, "I don't have experience in the area or not enough knowledge". So, I don't have enough experience in the area or I just don't have enough knowledge around this actual topic. And if you potentially had a look at the video that we've done on impostor syndrome, we talk a lot about that concept in there.
But again, this is just a myth. And again, the awareness of it is what allows us to remove the energy behind it.
Myth 3. "I Am Too Young, Or Too Old"
The oldest student we've ever had is 92 years of age and the youngest student that we've ever had learned how to present from a platform at the age of 11.
So, the fact is, I'm pretty sure that you fit somewhere in between that bandwidth of age group.
I can tell you right now, you are neither too young nor too old to get out there and start to present confidently.
Myth 4. "I Am Self-Conscious"
It's a common thing that people start to get a little bit self-conscious because when you're on a platform, people are staring at you.
They're looking at your face, at your clothing, at your gestures, your postures and your facial expressions. They're observing you. In fact, they're fixated on you and it's a natural thing for us to start to sort of be curious about what people are actually thinking about how we look.
Myth 5. "I Don’t Have Qualifications Or A Story To Tell"
One of the top myths that affect confidence when speaking is, "I don't have massive qualifications or a grand story to tell, and I don't have funny stories to tell either. In fact, basically I don't really know anything about that whole concept of being funny".
So, quite often, when we think to ourselves, I don't have these great big stories. I don't have this incredible journey. I don't have this signature trauma that I've been through or I don't even know how to be funny.
None of my friends thinks I'm funny. So how can I possibly get on a platform and do any of that?
Again, this affects our confidence, but it's just a myth.
Some of the best presenters in the world are not presenters because they're funny.
They're not presenters because they have a great story. They are presenters because they're dynamic in what they do and their content is world-class.
Myth 6. "I Don’t Have Charisma"
Charisma is one of these things, again, that can actually be taught to any human being.
Charisma is a combination of the words you choose, the tonality you apply to those words, and the hand gestures and postures you add at the end of them. So, charisma is not a naturally occurring thing.
People say, "You're so naturally charismatic."
You've heard that phrase before I'm sure when people are discussing 'charismatic' people out there. But I can tell you the people that are naturally charismatic are actually just doing something very specific.
They're either consciously or unconsciously following a system that shows up and is expressed as charisma.
Here's the thing, we can actually learn charisma at any point in time.
Overcoming These Myths
How do we actually overcome each of these myths that affect confidence when speaking? What are we meant to do about it?
Well, here's the funny thing about the myths. The myths are triggered by a region of your brain down the back and base of your brain stem.
So, when that part of your brain feels threatened in any way shape or form, it kicks up a whole bunch of belief systems that we experience as myths, which have an impact on our confidence, in an attempt to make sure that we do not go on stage.
A part of your brain known as the "hindbrain" or the "reptilian complex" believes that if you go on stage, you're increasing the level of risk and potential danger to you as a person.
It's a small part of your brain that thinks, "If my talk goes really, really bad, what if all the people in this room turn on me, and God forbid what if they attack me??"
We know that this doesn't happen in this day and age, but there's a small part of your brain that thinks that.
So it does everything in its power to make sure that you do not expose yourself to that level of risk.
And it does it by kicking up these myths in a hope that you believe these myths, like "you're too old", or "you're too young", or "you don't know enough", or "you don't have the qualifications".
And it hopes that when it kicks this myth up, you say, "That's it. I'm never going to present".
Then it says, "Yes! I got the result that I was looking for!"
How These Myths That Affect Confidence When Speaking Started
These myths are most activated when you put someone in the room in a more important position than yourself.
The number one reason that all these myths and confidence issues get kicked up into your mind is because you're placing someone or a group of people in that room in a higher position or more important position than you.
If I asked you to go and present to a room full of five-year-olds, you'd probably show up confidently and just talk about what you're doing.
But if I said, all right, I want you to go and present to the board of directors for Google, all of a sudden your confidence issues come up as the myths start kicking in.
And the reason being is the difference between the five-year-olds and the group of directors at Google. You positioned them differently inside your mind.
Top 6 Myths That Affect Confidence When Speaking - In Conclusion & A Simple Exercise To Remove Them
So, one of the things I recommend every person does before they ever get on a stage and start to present their message is to write down a list of 200 reasons why you love yourself.
And included in that list, write down the reason why you are just as valuable as any other human being on planet Earth.
The fact is, every human being on this planet has the same amount of intrinsic value. We are equally valuable to every other human.
And so, when you point this out right before you go on stage, you significantly remove the risk of activating these myths into your mind to start to play havoc on your confidence.
That includes previous teachers, parents, siblings, coworkers... anybody that you have ever put above you. You want to get yourself into a position where you are equal to everyone on the planet.
And once you do that, you'll find these myths become a thing of the past. Your confidence increases and with all of that, your presentations have more power, more cut through and inspire the audience to take action that allows them to transform their lives for the better.
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