When it comes to confidence, ‘build’ is the keyword. ‘Build’ indicates that gaining confidence is a gradual, step-by-step, experience-by-experience process. The great news is it does not necessarily need to be a slow process!
Here are our Six Tampere Toastmasters ideas on how to build on it.
The word confidence comes from the Latin word “fidere”, which means to trust; therefore, confidence is trust in ourselves. One of the best ways to start building on our confidence is by keeping small promises to ourselves. Gradually we start trusting in our ability to keep these promises, and we are ready to thrive. As a member of a Toastmasters club, you can start with small goals like taking on a meeting role, for example. When you feel familiar and more attuned to the club’s meetings, you can give a speech.
Challenge yourself with impromptu speeches
Table topics is a signature activity for a Toastmasters club. Table Topics hones the skill of creating an impromptu response that is straight to the point and engaging. During Table Topics, all attendees have an opportunity to present one- to two-minute impromptu talks. This is often the most fun part of our meetings. Don’t miss the opportunity; next time, jump in.
Practice before giving a speech
You have confidence when you know you can do something. Many people just don’t practice enough in front of an audience in a friendly environment with no consequences if mistakes are made. If you want to build your confidence as a speaker, be intentional about investing time in developing your speaking skills. Practising will help you master the art of public speaking, and this is the key reason why our clubs exist – to allow speakers like you to practice, which will build your confidence. Practice results in progress, and your confidence gets built when you know you are making progress.
A Toastmasters club gives you an invaluable opportunity to be consistent in your intention to improve your communication skills. The regularity of meetings, the variety of roles one can have and be active during every meeting, eleven different pathways with projects of all kinds that one might work on … you name it. It’s up to you to dedicate and invest time in your personal development.
Challenge yourself even more by attending contests
It takes a lot of courage to be a contestant, true. However, you can start small on a club level. There are contests for a speech, for an evaluation, for an impromptu speech. Contests, by their nature, have higher stakes than regular club speeches, which means more practice. Competing on a club level strengthens our skills and boosts confidence because we perform in the same safe environment we are used of. Familiar faces, fellow club members, it’s safe not to be perfect.
Celebrate your small/big wins
There is no greater boost of our confidence than the satisfaction and fulfilment after a well-done job. Achieving our goals isn’t always easy. It takes hard work and inner strength, and it’s easy to forget to take time for ourselves. When you reach a milestone or complete a particularly hard task, relax. Celebrate success with whatever makes you happy.
— Written by Mina Kostova
Vice President of Public Relations