Neil Mullarkey, a friend of mine, is a stand-up comedian, actor and founding member of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisation troupe who literally make the show up on the spot from suggestions shouted out by the audience – a bit like the TV show Whose line is it anyway? If you are the least bit fearful about giving presentations, can you imagine walking out onto stage without having any idea what you are going to say?
I asked Neil how he did it. He said, “Well apart from doing it every Wednesday and Sunday for over twenty five years, which helps, the advice I give anyone doing it for the first time is: if in doubt be loud. You see, when people are lacking in confidence they tend to speak in a quiet, faltering voice. It’s almost a physical thing, where being nervous makes the voice box constrict. I can talk utter rubbish on stage but still come across as confident just by projecting my voice”
So here’s a great tip: next time you are speaking in a meeting, or giving a presentation, and want to feel more confident, project your voice a little more than you would in normal conversation. This will help in two ways. You’ll fool your body and brain that you are feeling confident (because that’s how you sound when you are), and you’ll fool the audience because, on unconscious level, they’ll pick up the signals a confident person sends out.
For more information on Neil Mullarkey visit: www.neilmullarkey.com