The New Type of Confidence in Public Speaking

The New Type of Confidence in Public Speaking

Table of Contents

In our journey to become more compelling speakers, we often overlook a powerful tool that lies within us: vulnerability.

This is probably not the first time you’ve heard of being vulnerable and part of you is probably already showing your vulnerability in certain situations as a speaker.

I’m talking to that part of you in higher-stakes situations where you can’t be too invulnerable because you think it will hurt you or your chances.

While the quest for perfection dominates many public speaking situations, the true essence of connection and impact lies in our most human moments. 

And that is to be vulnerable.

Being vulnerable as a speaker means willingly sharing your true thoughts, emotions, experiences, and uncertainties with your audience,

Being vulnerable is to be human, making you appear more relatable and trustworthy to your audience, and fostering a deeper connection.

Speaker's Mindset Trap: The Myth of the Flawless Speaker

Society's ideal speaker is often portrayed as a paragon of confidence and polish, seemingly without fear, doubt, or mistakes.

And because society has this norm, we accept it as well. Whenever we get nervous, have doubts, or are fearful as a speaker, we tend to put on our poker face of confidence.

Most of the clients often say, “Well, everyone else around me looks so confident and sounds so confident, how come I’m not that way?

Has it ever occurred to you that everyone knows how to put on a poker face of confidence but they are feeling the same way you are on the inside?

By the need and pressure to always put on our poker face of confidence,  we risk losing our unique voice and genuine connection with our audience. 

Vulnerability is the key to breaking free from this chain, allowing us to showcase our authenticity and humanity.

The Speaking Shift: Embracing Authenticity Through Vulnerability

The real shift occurs when speakers realize that their power lies not in perfection but in authenticity. Vulnerability allows us to present our true selves, complete with our stories of struggle, failure, and triumph. 

This doesn't mean oversharing or focusing on our flaws but rather integrating our personal experiences and emotions in a way that serves our message and connects with the audience. 

This approach fosters a deeper level of engagement, trust, and influence, proving that vulnerability can indeed be a speaker's greatest asset.

What are some examples of being authentic and showing vulnerability?

Here are different ways to be vulnerable as a speaker. 

  • Letting others see you when you are not at your best.
  • Blanking out and letting people in on it. While asking for a moment to collect your thoughts.
  • Making a mistake and calling yourself out.
  • Being nervous and allowing yourself to show that.
  • Sharing that you don’t have the answer.
  • Stumbling over words and acknowledging them openly.
  • Sharing personal stories or failures

Speaking Actions:

  1. Make a decision today that you want to be an Authentic and Vulnerable Speaker. When you make that decision, you’ll already know what to do if you mess up or bad things happen. Share the truth! Let them in on your human side. Don’t try to play it off.
  2. Create 1-3 phrases you can say by being human and speaking in situations you don’t want to be in. You see we’re not working on preventing it from happening. Instead, we’re learning how to grow when it happens. When our audience sees our attitudes toward the bad thing, they will remember our attitude, not the bad thing.
    1. When getting extremely nervous: “Excuse me for a second, I get nervous when I speak because this means a lot to me. Okay, let me catch my breath……And I’m back, let’s start talking about you again.”
    2. When confronted with a tough question or lack of an answer: "That's a fantastic question, and honestly, one I don't have a complete answer to at this moment. What I appreciate about questions like these is they push us to explore and think deeper. Let's dive into this together and see what we can discover."
    3. When You Lose Your Train of Thought: "Oops, seems like my thoughts took a little detour there. Happens to the best of us, right? Let me take a moment to regroup. It's all part of the adventure of live speaking. Thanks for bearing with me."

We’re about to start something brand new here at BostonSpeaks and it’s called SpeakStudio. 

It’s a place where you can learn how to truly show up as yourself in a supportive environment where you can experiment with your speaking and most importantly, you’ll get access to top speaking training that’s both live and self-paced. 

Become one of the 100 Founders of SpeakStudio and get on the waitlist here to be the first to hear when we open it up.

To Your Speaking Success,

- Kit Pang
Founder, BostonSpeaks

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