When one is confronted with a circumstance that he or she is unsure about – whether it is confronting someone admired, performing in front of an audience, or simply conversing with others - he or she is under a great deal of stress. Confident people can typically confront these situations without blinking; nevertheless, the rest of us will most likely melt away and try to flee.
For most persons who suffer from low self-esteem, these events provide an opportunity to make a fool of themselves. This is an extremely humiliating situation.
If you're one of the millions of people who want to quit squirming in front of others, scurrying out of awkward situations, and feeling self-conscious when giving presentations, here are a few pointers to get you started.
1. Confidence comes from competence – Some groups, such as Toastmasters, encourage people who are terrified of speaking in public to toughen up by emphasizing this philosophy – and it works. Being able to trust what you're capable of is one key to self-confidence and self-esteem. This requires a great deal of practice and research. When you practice a talent, you gain confidence in your ability to perform in front of others.
Prepare for a large presentation by studying. Before you go in front of the audience, be sure you know everything there is to know about the issue. You will be in a better position to knock their socks off if you have prepared well in advance of the presentation.
You can acquire feedback on how to enhance your performance by practicing in front of supportive people you trust.
2. Have Faith in Yourself — One of the reasons people lack self-confidence is that they are already convinced that they will fail before anything happens. Never underestimate the mind's power. You will fail if you feel you will fail! A better practice would be to believe in your own ability to succeed. Set your mind to achieve, and you'll most likely succeed!
3. Accept Criticism, Good or Bad - Most individuals are terrible at accepting criticism. Rather than taking criticism personally, use each comment and suggestion to improve yourself. You will, however, have to be on the lookout for some criticisms that were never intended to help you. Ignore them and get on with your life.
4. Maintain Calm at All Times - Panic never helped anyone. Keep your cool if you find yourself in a scenario where you don't know what to do or what will happen. Say so calmly if you don't know the answer. It's not a bad idea to acknowledge you don't know what to do if you don't know what to do.