I recently attended a workshop ran by Articulacy – “Communicate with Confidence and Practice your Perfect Pitch”.
I have grown in confidence since setting up my business, but there is always room for improvement. Julia Ward from Articulacy really helped me when I started my business and when Articulacy announced that they were running this workshop I jumped at the chance to attend. This alone meant that my confidence had improved, I would have previously pencilled it in my diary and built up the courage before actually booking it.
As Julia quite rightly identified, one of the reasons I was sometimes lacking in confidence is because I was frequently committing self-sabotage and I think we are all guilty of it. Not just in business or work, but in life in general…
“Am I good enough”
“That other person is doing it better than me”
“I am not sure that I am doing the right thing”
We can all be in control of those thoughts though and sometimes we need to make an effort to push those feelings aside and remind ourselves that we are good enough and why.
Dealing with Nerves and Confidence
I attend quite a few networking events and although I don’t have the huge amount of nerves as I used to, the nerves are still there. I am gradually learning to deal with my nervousness more effectively.
Julia gave us some really great ways to do this, including slowing down your breathing to remain calm. The one which created some great photos of the workshop was the ‘power pose’ – the nerves seemed to dissipate when the laughter took over as we were all stood there doing our superwoman poses! The wonderful Poppy managed to get some great event photos – you can check out Poppy Jakes other work here.
Something that my husband quite often has to remind me of when I am battling with my nerves is, what’s the worst that can happen, and Julia mentioned it in her workshop too! All of those scenarios you run through your head, if they did happen it wouldn’t be the end of the world would it? I always worry about getting tongue tied or forgetting my words when delivering my pitch at an event, but if it did happen I would just take a deep breath and move on. Nobody is going to judge me because I tripped over my words, we have all been there after all!
And very importantly ‘Fake It Till You Make It’. At those first few networking events, I would walk around as if these networking events as if I had absolutely no problem at all being in a room of strangers and having to talk about my new business with complete confidence and certainty – my three years of drama at secondary school really came in handy… Having said that, over time, I actually started getting good at both of those things and I wasn’t faking it, well, not as much.
Networking with Confidence
I have met lots of people at networking events whilst growing my startup business and I have always been honest about my worries, whether it be that I was new to networking, or worried about not having enough work, or concerned about my hourly rate. Most people I meet, whether they are start-ups themselves or experienced business owners, can sometimes have those same worries or concerns. The people who I met along the way were incredibly helpful and very keen to share tips and advice and it has been a great way to develop myself and my business. So one bit of advice from me would be to not be afraid of telling people you are a bit nervous, or you hate getting up and doing your pitch, or anything else that you are worried about, as the person you are talking to might have a great tip for you to use!
I have met Julia on a few occasions and I have found her to be inspiring and motivating and the workshop reflected this. Everyone that attended the workshop left feeling more confident and with a pitch that they were proud of. It was also lovely to meet Leanne, Articulacy’s Business Manager, who was incredibly helpful in the run-up to the workshop, and on the day itself. Articulacy is an amazing company run by amazing ladies. There will potentially be another workshop that will be covering networking and lots of concerns people have, like how to start a conversation at a networking event. Make sure you follow Articulacy on Eventbrite to be notified when their next event is but using this link.