“How long do you want to wait before you make the change?”
A simple question, but powerful question.
Really, this is the only question that must be answered in order to make the shift to become a confident communicator.
When asked this question, sometimes prospective clients ask, is this a trick question?
“Of course I want to change now, that’s why I’ve contacted you.”
While logically, it’s this simple, emotionally it can be an entirely different story.
On a recent call with a prospective client who stated that public speaking fear was the one obstacle holding her back from achieving her potential in her career. She was a hard worker, very competent in her role, and had many leadership and exposure opportunities, but she avoided them because she feared she wasn’t good enough, feared being judged harshly, feared being rejected and how this might hurt the reputation she has worked so hard to earn.
I understand these fears, they’re a challenge and for many, these are the main obstacle.
So when the decision came to commit to working together, she stated that she wasn’t sure if she was emotionally ready to face her fears.
This is understandable because she has struggled for years with these fears, there’s a great deal of frustration and emotional charge from her missed opportunities, how she’s been held back, and the hopeless feeling she’s experienced, so being emotionally ready for this shift is important.
Now the other side to waiting until you’re “emotionally ready” is that in many cases, this is a feeling that will never come as it’s the act of taking action, leaning in while there are questions, this is what provides answers and creates the very confidence that we need to thrive in our dynamic and uncertain world.
When in this waiting for certainty state, these common statements come up:
*Let me think about it
*Let me do more research
*Let me wait and see if it changes on it’s own
These are all stall techniques, it’s inner resistance at it’s finest, creating doubts to keep you stuck.
Thinking about it, often reinforces the very habit that reduces acton as it’s the process of over-thinking that leads to the fears, public speaking anxiety, and missed speaking opportunities.
More research is valid, but it’s often a slippery slope where people can get stuck spending hours, investigating every option and minor detail in search of the “perfect” program, which with anything…perfect doesn’t exist, so they don’t make a decision.
Waiting to hope it changes on it’s own is a statement that hardly ever works, because as humans, we’re a collection of habits. In order to make a change, it requires new actions, so waiting will lead to continuing the same behaviour as before. This is where support, expert training, and accountability is needed to successfully make the shift.
3 questions to find the right communication confidence training for you:
- What is the implementation plan? If the training doesn’t have a specific action plan for you to implement what you learn, then I would end the conversation there as information without action, is not going to get you the results you’re looking for because action is what is needed for results.
- What’s the learning environment like? In order to become a confident speaker, you need an environment that is safe, supportive, and gives you the attention needed to make this transformation. Safe and supportive is essential as coming face-to-face with fears and being on camera can be a vulnerable experience, this is why having an environment where you feel comfortable is essential. The second part, the attention, refers to class size. Any training where there is 10 people or more, will not allow you to get the attention needed to increase your speaking confidence because you have individual needs, so getting that support, in addition to getting on camera multiple times per day is required to actually increase your speaking confidence rapidly.
- Do I trust the trainer? Aside from the training manuals and lesson plans, in the end, your success comes down to the connection you have with the trainer because if you are like, trust, and believe in them, then your motivation to take action on the information you learned is high. Elements to this are: Is the trainer someone who walks their talk by actively presenting or are they sharing information they’ve just learned? Does the trainer understand my current struggles? This is important, as many of my clients come to work with me specifically because I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks in the past. It makes a significant difference in reassuring them on meeting them exactly where they currently are, sharing the steps to change, and motivating them to take action.
It can be frustrating as I’m excited to help professionals move forward in their career and life as having increased confidence allows you to gain the ability to seize speaking opportunities and move forward quickly in your career, but people can only make this change when they choose to make a decision.
Sometimes this means they have to wait for more opportunities to be missed, more regrets to be added, more frustration to be experienced as it builds to the point where they can’t take it any longer.
Other times, it’s as easy as knowing that increased communcation confidence will allow them to advance their career, but also be able to speak in an authentic manner, which gives them the freedom to be true to themselves and reflect on their successes, rather than regrets of what could have been “only if I was more confident.”
Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, I’m in your corner, cheering you on as when you make the decision to invest in yourself, you will take the action and say “I wish I had done this years ago.”
Questions to ask yourself to take action:
- If not now, when? This creates a deadline and makes it real
- How many opportunities will I miss before being ready to make a change? Get real with yourself and commit to a specific number.
- What will making this change mean for me? Identify the benefits in both your personal and professional life, what will be different, and how your life will improve.
After you have answered these questions, there’s only one question that stands between you and your confident future:
“How long do I want to wait before I make the change?”
If you’ve connected with this article and want to check out our communication confidence training, here’s the training details: Training Info
Client update: The client that wasn’t sure if was emotionally ready, emailed back 3 hours after the and has registered for the training and we will work together this weekend! She said thinking about the regrets of continuing to miss opportunities and the frustration it brought was what made her ready to take action and finally move past this fear and into her confident future.