Speaking

Confidence Is Comfortable

But not for me.


In fact, I think confidence is quite uncomfortable. I am most comfortable in situations where confidence really isn’t a factor at all, aka, cases where I am not doing anything risky.


If I had to guess, I would say confidence is uncomfortable for you as well. Allow me to explain.


This year, I have committed to working on my communication skills. Under this umbrella, I include an emphasis on storytelling, public speaking, writing, and general presentation skills. Something I have noticed when people are speaking in front of an audience is that the more confident the speaker, the more comfortable I feel. When someone gets up to speak in front of a crowd, and they are timid, uncomfortable, and visibly nervous – it makes me feel uncomfortable.


Does this resonate with you?


I thought this was an underappreciated thought until I found the same sentiment echoed in an older book I am reading, A Practical Guide to Public Speaking, by Maurice Forley. Forley writes, “Remember that [your audience] wants you to do well. Audiences suffer with the speaker who is having a struggle, and they do not enjoy suffering. They would much rather respond to you pleasantly and have a good time.”


This leads me to a most actionable thought: it is a service to other people to be confident in my words and actions, not just in public speaking, but in every social setting.


Forley agrees with this realization in his next statement: “So think about your audience instead of yourself.”


I have been reminded in almost every interaction, from greeting friends at church, to the cashier at the grocery store, to even my wife and children. Speaking with authority and confidence is contagious and inspires good feelings in others.


Everyone wins!

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