What is the secret to confidence for trainers? How do trainers position themselves to be the ones standing in front of groups and leading… with confidence?
Here are a few points we consider important to the confidence building process.
1. Be passionate about your topic.
When you speak about or facilitate sessions on a topic you are passionate about, you are paddling with the current. If you are not passionate about your topic, you are paddling harder to make the same progress. Your enthusiasm about your topic draws your audience to you and gains their support.
Any presentation worth it’s salt is 90% preparation and 10% perspiration. Invest ounces in preparation to add pounds to your confidence.
3. Practice, practice, practice.
The sweat you invest in practicing will reduce the sweat when presenting.
4. Take on small bites.
Take on speaking and facilitating projects that you feel you can manage. Build success by taking on projects that you find challenging and do-able at the same time. If you respond to your audience you will be successful.
5. Build on your strengths.
Know your strengths and work them into your presentations. Are you great at humour? Can you speak clearly? Do you work better with flip charts or overheads? Can you tell stories? Whatever your strength, incorporate it into your presentations.
6. Control your self-talk.
Talk to yourself positively. In my early days of presenting, I had a knack for destroying myself in the last couple of days before a talk or presentation. Then I noticed how I was talking to myself. I was promoting disaster in the way I spoke to myself. I was my own worst enemy. It’s true that talking to yourself negatively is a sure way to sabotage your presentation. However, it is equally true that positive self-talk leads to success. The key is to develop and use your own positive language. Instead of saying and thinking “What if things go wrong?” Try instead; “I see this talk going very well – I see the audience enjoying themselves and applauding vigorously at the end of my presentation.”
7. Seek feedback.
Actively seek feedback from people who know how to provide proper feedback, listen to that feedback and act on suggestions for improvement if they apply.
8. Create your own support group.
Seek out people who will support you in your efforts to become an excellent facilitator. There are a number of people who will help you – find them and involve them in your support group or team.
9. Seek and embrace opportunities to speak or present.
Take ’em on and welcome the feedback.
You get a ton of points for simply standing up in front of the group and few people notice your lack of confidence unless you tell them or project it to them. Be proud that you are making a difference! Even if you don’t feel like you’re making a difference some days, be proud anyway – you are doing it and smart people recognize that.
The bottom line with presenting and facilitating is to take the risk and do it… and keep doing it. The difference between trainers who succeed and those who don’t is action.