The Confidence to Trust Yourself

How well do you trust yourself?  How much do you trust your expertise?  How deeply do you trust your delivery of it? Do you have the confidence to share what you know?

 

Last night I had the privilege of addressing a room in Bratislava, Slovakia of the country’s 100 top businesspeople and philanthropists.  It was not my first international talk — I’ve been on stage everywhere from Israel to Japan this year — but it was my first where the audience wore headsets for the simultaneous English translation.  Now, years ago, this would have meant nothing to me; I get onstage, read my notes, convey my points, teach my audience, and leave.  Problem solved.  But, over the course of the past year, I’ve learned the difference between speaking and performing, between lecturing and communicating, between teaching audiences and moving them.

 

And here’s the thing: so much of that rests in the precision of the word choice, the timing of the pauses, the movement of the body and facial expression in relation to the messages being communicated.  Would *this* hold up to simultaneous translation?  Would *I* hold up to the klieg lights of the stage as the audience stares blankly at me while listening to the monotone translation rushing to keep pace?

 

I’m pleased to report that it did. And I did. Because I had the courage to trust myself, my expertise, and my delivery enough to slow it down just a hair, wait for the laughter, pause for the reflection, and allow the audience to be part of the experience with me.  I have found a set of topics on which I know I can move audiences to action, and I know that I am a credible vehicle for those topics.

 

So, my question is: what are yours?  What do you know better than anyone and have the confidence to share?  What do you believe deep in your soul?  What can you discuss in a way that moves others to act?  And, what’s stopping you?