Tips to boost your confidence – stop dreaming and start doing

How to build confidence’ continues to be a best-selling Zoomly workshop. Wonder why? Confidence seems to be a bigger topic than it once was. I think there are several reasons, for example:

  • Social media and how it can prompt us to compare ourselves with others
  • Hard-driving, demanding workplaces asking employees to step up more
  • Lack of confidence holding talented people back

A key take-away that participants always say they’ve picked up is ‘practice’. Quite right too. We all know practice helps grow our confidence – but how to get that essential practice, how to do it and where to start? Here are some ideas to get you from dreaming to doing.

Join a practice group
If you want to boost your presentation skills by practising with a wide range of fellow learners, you could find a Toastmasters group near you. See how it’s done and then take your turn to step up.

Create your own practice group with colleagues
Sound out senior managers and get their views – and support. Gather people who show interest and agree how your group will work. Let’s say you’re going to start a presentation skills practice group for example, how frequently will you meet and for how long? Will you take turns each time to deliver a presentation and get feedback – or work on a particular aspect together each time? This has worked really well at some Zoomly clients, long after the training.

OK, you can of course sing in the shower, the car, doing the cleaning. Nothing wrong with that. If you want to boost your confidence and develop your vocal skills at the same time, joining a singing group could work for you. Find out if a rock choir is for you.

Observe other people practising
Watching people practise can give you vital clues to confidence building. This might be colleagues rehearsing a pitch and making careful note of what people do and how they do it (the ‘how’ is important, so take notes).
You can also observe professional performers’ rehearsals. [Update: whilst COVID-19 safety measures are in effect, you may be able to watch rehearsals via video. Otherwise, we may have to wait for a while. Check websites for what’s available]    The London Symphony Orchestra sells tickets to rehearsals, as does the English National Ballet. There are heaps of videos of famous performers rehearsing as well as short videos with practical tips, for example, this video of the National Theatre’s Vocal Coach in action. If sport’s your thing, get to a match early and watch the warm-up practice and pre-match routines. You might be surprised; some have simple strategies and others have eccentric rituals (read Gary Neville’s account of his pre-match prep in his Manchester United days). Develop your own preparation routine if you’re stepping up to chairing meetings and delivering presentations.

Do your homework – and chart your progress 
As you study how others prepare for big moments and build their confidence, you’ll learn a lot. You’ll also learn a great deal by reflecting on your experiences. Get feedback on your performance and consider what worked well – and not so well – and identify learning points you can apply in future.

You may find this post useful: ‘Get a grip on your confidence gremlins’


Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’

Copyright Zoomly




Image credits: Conductor directing with baton – @rastudio-Depositphotos
Business hero as shadow – @funwayillustration-Depositphotos
Business woman with a superhero’s cape – @ayeletkeshet-Depositphotos

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