We’ve all had to deliver a speech sometime in our lives; and, over time, the more we publicly speak, the better we get. But, once we step down from the stage, that confidence doesn’t always stick around. How, then, do we build that confidence to deliver a brand message?

We speak with Monique Russell, Training & Communication Consultant | Leadership & Relationship Development Coach at Clear Communication Solutions, LLC, about how confidence in communication is an internal struggle rather than something improved upon behind a podium.

Monique covers:

  • A communication myth & understanding validation
  • Mistakes to avoid with communication
  • Next steps for the audience to find their voice

A communication myth & understanding validation

There’s a reason ‘get rich quick’ schemes attract so many people — we all wish there was some overnight solution to our problems. Public speaking works the same way. We all think mustering up the courage to get on stage will give us the consistent confidence we’ve been searching for. But sadly, just like the ‘get rich quick’ scheme, confidence won’t be built after a few moments of getting outside your comfort zone.

So, then, how do you build lasting confidence?

”You have to look at the reason why you’re not confident, internally; you have to do it from the inside out.” — Monique Russell

No need to be validated

The only way to build confidence is to recognize where your feelings of insecurity are coming from, internally. You have to ask the question: Why do I need external validation as a way to feel confident? Entering into a one-way public speaking conversation with your audience won’t translate into one-on-one conversations later.

According to Monique, one of the best ways to start peeling back the layers and setting goals for yourself is through coaching and recognizing the moments when you feel strongest so you can mirror those moments onto times when you feel weakest.

Surrounding yourself with positive influences

Our personal upbringing might also be playing a part in our path towards confidence. For many, their younger years didn’t facilitate the kind of environment that emboldened them into adulthood. To correct that, it’s important to surround yourself with the kind of people that you want to be like. The positive influence is a way to reinforce your journey to finding your voice.

Mistakes to avoid with communication

Thinking with personal brand in mind, there’s quite a few mistepps a person can fall into if they’re not aware. Monique shares the biggest mistakes to avoid:

  1. Looking externally for a confidence boost: Mentioned above — confidence is found internally.
  2. Forgetting about the audience: A lot of the time, we forget that it’s not all about us. We have to take our audience into consideration if we want to truly engage.
  3. Connect with both intellect and emotion: Many people will speak to the intellect of the audience, but without the emotion, you miss out on a deeper connection to them.

”Before we even get to delivery, you have to make sure that your message is relevant for your audience and it hits multiple dimensions of self.” — Monique Russell

Underselling yourself

Imagine walking into a restaurant and noticing that the sirloin steak dinner is only 25 cents. You’d wonder if it’s even edible. So why, when we undersell ourselves, do we expect our audience reaction to be any different?

Society sets a lot of standards for people— naive under 30 and stagnant over 40. To be a leader in your industry, breaking out of these traditions is the only way to value yourself appropriately. If you’re over 40 trying to find your voice, it’ll be impossible if you believe what you say is irrelevant.

Next steps for the audience to find their voice

For those looking to make a change, Monique shares some insight on what critical skills are most important in today’s world according to the World Economic Forum:

  • Leadership
  • Social influence
  • Creativity
  • Complex problem solving

Looking at these skills, do you struggle with any? Have your past experiences aligned or diverged from this list? Once you have a good idea of what needs your focus, reach out to professionals in your field that amplify the skills you want to improve upon.

Building confidence is not a straight path. There will be times when your confidence struggles in the face of tragedy; or it will shine brightly in times of triumph. And, while there’s no magic amount of confidence that we all can reach, leveling out the lows and celebrating the highs can be enough.