It’s no secret that people fear interviews, auditions, and most of all, public speaking. As Jerry Seinfeld put it, “The average person at a funeral would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
Before interviews and auditions I always get nervous and have to psyche myself up. Usually by the time the actual event comes around, I’ve calmed down and nail it. It’s by no inherent confidence that I do this, since most of the time I can’t eat and feel the horrible twisting of my stomach just like anyone else. Pre-game determination and steps to psychologically get yourself ready will far outweigh even the most overconfident person’s preparedness.
Here are some of the most helpful things you can do to boost your confidence and overcome your fear.
- Instead of worrying, be excited. This is it, your big chance to shine. Use your anxiety to work for you and think of how amazing the outcome can and will be.
- Do something insanely risky. While public speaking may be people’s #1 fear, even over death, it’s a lot less scary once you’ve faced some insanely risky situations. Try skydiving, climbing a mountain, or wrestling an alligator. Then think of how easy it will be to speak in front of people.
- Use the energy, don’t let it scare you. That adrenaline rush you get is a very very good thing. Use it to fuel your excitement and energy.
- Think of it as an exchange. In an interview or an audition, you’re really having a conversation. You’re trying to get the job just as much as the interviewer or auditor’s livelihood is based off your talent.
- How you say it is often more important than what you say. If someone asks a movie star what they’ve done, they could say, “A few indie movies, a couple Broadway plays, four films with Miramax, and one with Dreamworks.” However amazing that repertoire might be, they didn’t say it with excitement and enthusiasm, so it sounds bland.
- Learn to be comfortable with yourself. Relax, be yourself, and if you don’t know who you are yet, take some time to figure it out.
- Have the goods. The most effective way to build confidence is to have the right stuff. If you’re giving a speech on something you barely know anything about, you’re going to be nervous. Go do some research and have the goods to backup what you’re saying. You’ll be 100 times more confident when you do.
- Smile. You will look less nervous and feel more confident when you have a positive look on your face.
- Turn negative thoughts into positive actions. Instead of thinking, “I don’t know if I’ll get the job,” or “I hope I get the job,” think “I am perfect for this job and they are going to hire me.”
- Visualize the best outcome. If you’re giving a public speech, go through the speech in your mind and visualize everyone laughing at your jokes and giving you a standing ovation.
- Eye contact. Having strong eye contact (without staring) gives a feeling of confidence to yourself and whoever is conversing with you.
- Transfer confidence from areas you are familiar with. If you’re doing something new and you’re unsure of, then you are probably uncomfortable with it and with yourself. However, you are comfortable at things you’re good at. Imagine this feeling of comfort when doing the new and unusual thing.
After you succeed with flying colors, you can do a victory dance. I don’t have a list of tips for that, unfortunately, because I usually just yell and scream and blast music in my car afterwards. I know I look like a crazy person, but I don’t really care.Now go own the world.
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