The Confidence Switch

Every now and then, we get an opportunity to express our views. If you are fortunate or unfortunate enough, you get a chance to do so in front of an audience. The fortunate are those who have no problem speaking in public. While the unfortunate are named as those who have stage fright or for some reason hesitate to speak in public. The unfortunate ones lack a single thing that keeps them away from the stage – confidence.

It is common knowledge that confidence in anything comes from a lot of practice. The more times you do something, the more confident you get. While this might be true for the arts and works of labor, public speaking is a different matter altogether. You might not need a lot of practice to become confident in public speaking. All you need to do is turn off a switch.

Natural instinct makes our heart beat rapidly in uncomfortable situations. Then you break out in sweats and since your blood is being rushed towards your limbs, you begin to forget your words as the blood supply to the brain is simultaneously decreased. This reaction to the situation is programmed and cannot be altered. But what you can do is alter the perception of the situation itself.

There is a metaphorical switch in our brain. This switch tells the body whether a situation is comfortable or not. If faced by a big audience and a sea of eyes and ears all pointed in your direction, usually you turn on that switch. You tell your body that this is uncomfortable. From there your natural instinct kicks in and takes over. What you can do to prevent nervousness is to turn off that switch. Make yourself believe that being on stage is not comfortable. Imagine that you have been living on the stage all your life and it is your home. Bring onto the stage all the feelings that you get when you are in the comfort of your home. And then use the stage as if it were your own garden. While you speak, move around on it – use it like it were your own. By now, you have become comfortable and the audience feels your ease too. They’re not listening to a speech anymore, they’re involved in a conversation – with a friend. The swarm of eyes staring at you is no longer a stranger crowd. They’re your followers and you speak to them with the uninterrupted flow, the elegant words and the calm gaze that is fit for a god.

Not being able to speak in public is the greatest impediments of all. And being able to do so is the godliest power there is. And though a person is a result of his actions, the words are the colors that make us beautiful

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