Neil Patel is a world-renowned expert in search engine optimization and digital marketing. He has also leveraged this expertise to create a successful speaking career. And in all his efforts, his confident approach never fails to captivate.
As an influencer, you’re not going to get stage fright. But there is a big difference between not being afraid and radiating confidence. In order to give truly captivating speeches, you will need to do the latter.
You’ll need to share your experiences to connect with your audience on a deeper level. You’ll also need to expose your vulnerabilities. This is one of the lessons you’ll learn at Speakers Institute. It is not easy. But with enough confidence, you can do it. Fortunately, you don’t need to be born with a confident personality - this is something you can learn.
For an example of someone who has developed a confident approach and benefited greatly from it, you can turn to Neil Patel.
Who Is Neil Patel?
If you have any interest in online marketing, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Neil Patel. And even if you don’t care for this field, it’s possible you’ve stumbled across one of his blogs. That is because Patel is very good at getting search engines to show you what he wants you to see.
These skills have allowed him to establish successful companies such as Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg. In addition, he has worked with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Airbnb, and so on. He is also a bestselling author.
For his work, numerous organisations have recognised him as a leader in his field. He has even received acknowledgment from President Obama and the United Nations.
While this is his forte, Patel is also an accomplished speaker. The fact that he has had more than 300 speaking engagements to date is proof of this.
In his speeches, Patel excels at topics such as growth marketing and entrepreneurship. By drawing from personal experience, he can provide in-depth insights. He’s also not afraid to discuss his business failures, allowing him to address his audience’s biggest pain points.
And throughout all this, one trait stands out – confidence. But, the most interesting part is how Patel got to that point.
“I used to be quite shy. It wasn’t until I worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman that I learned to put myself out there.”
The gist of Patel’s approach is to learn from experience. He doesn’t attribute his success to natural abilities. Instead, he became confident through trial and error.
“That’s how I got to where I am in life. I’m not smarter than most people, I didn’t get the best grades when I was a kid… But, I just kept at it, I never gave up, and I learned from my mistakes. If you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again and you learn from them, eventually you’ll know what not to do. Which leaves you with one simple thing – the stuff that you should be doing.”
Through perseverance, Patel acquired the confidence he needed. In turn, it propelled him to major success. So, if that dose of confidence is what you’re lacking to take your speaking career to the next level, you just need to work on it.
Tips to Build Confidence and Leave an Impression
As mentioned, Patel didn’t start out as someone who could instantly captivate an audience through his confidence. He got there with practice.
Due to this, he has shared some of the tips which have helped him along the way in his blog. As a storyshower, you stand to benefit greatly from them.
Tip 1: Fake It Until You Make It
The titular tip is something any new speaker should pay great attention to.
In the long run, your confidence needs to come from within – that’s how you’ll be able to maintain it no matter the situation. But right now, there’s nothing wrong with “cheating” a bit to create the illusion that you’re more confident than you actually are.
This can take many forms. Perhaps you have a favourite outfit you know looks good on you. Or, you can wear that perfume people have complimented numerous times. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it puts a bit of extra pep in your step.
At one point, Patel wanted to test this out so he spent an exorbitant amount of money on fancy clothes. The idea was to create an outward image of success and confidence. Unsurprisingly, the ploy worked and ended up earning him several times more than he had put in.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should spend your life savings on clothes and accessories. But you can use a few shortcuts to give yourself a temporary confidence boost.
And throughout all this, make sure to use eye contact. If you start to doubt yourself, don’t avert your gaze – that will instantly give you away. Instead, retain eye contact and continue sending the right message.
Tip 2: Stay Positive
Confidence is an expression of your belief in your abilities. Therefore, you can’t be confident if you’re wallowing in negativity. Thus, you need to develop a positive mindset.
This was crucial for Patel’s career. He may have had a lot of early success, but he also had failures. In fact, he had lost US$ 1 million before turning 21. But, he stayed positive and turned it around. This is what you should do as well.
For some people, affirmations can do the trick. This amounts to repeating positive statements. For others, it can help to distance yourself from your problems. Consider how someone else would deal with what’s worrying you. With some distance, you may see a logical solution. This can give you the confidence to proceed.
You can also take some time each day to reflect and focus on what you’re grateful for. Make a habit of it and it could turn into a beacon of positivity.
Tip 3: Silence the Inner Voice
As you’re about to give a speech, you’ll hear that voice at the back of your head. It tells you people are going to boo you off the stage. When this happens, stop it before it gets out of hand.
Yes, it is possible your speech won’t go as planned. But it can also go even better than expected, particularly if you’re prepared.
Negative thoughts will creep in, you can’t prevent that. But, you do not need to let them dominate your thinking. Instead, reframe them and focus on what you’re doing right.
Tip 4: Take Care of Yourself
Stress will eat away at your confidence, it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid it. As an influencer, you will constantly be thinking about building up your brand, and that will take a toll. That’s why it is very important to find a way to alleviate stress.
For Patel, this means getting plenty of sleep – nine hours or more. For you, it can mean going to a restaurant, spending time with friends, enjoying a hobby, etc. The crucial part is, you need a vent for all the stress.
Tip 5: Research
It’s easy to feel doubt when you don’t know what’s ahead of you. That’s why you should do everything you can to research the people you’ll be speaking to.
Learn why they’re there and what motivates them. This is easier if you’re only speaking to a small group, but it works under other circumstances as well. Talk with the event organiser and collect as much information as you can. Knowing what to expect will make it much easier to stay confident.
Tip 6: Use Solid Data
When you’re speaking, you should have solid facts and figures to back up your claims. Of course, truly engaging speeches are a mixture of emotion and logic, so you shouldn’t go too far with this.
However, you will draw a lot of confidence from knowing that your speech contains elements absolutely no one could dispute. The data is an anchor, and it will provide stability.
Tip 7: Master the Elevator Speech
Your goal as a speaker is to stand in front of an audience, show them your story, and leave a lasting impression. But, you won’t always be giving long speeches to roomfuls of people. To get there, you’ll often need to quickly explain what you’re about. In other words, you need an elevator speech, and you need to deliver it with the utmost confidence.
This speech has three main elements. You need to explain what you do, which problems your speaking addresses, and what separates you from other speakers. You just need to practice until you can cover all this in around 30 seconds.
Master the elevator speech, and you’ll know you’re always ready to grab an opportunity – this will build up your confidence.
The Final Word
Confidence isn’t a replacement for skill and effort, meaning you can’t build a speaking career on it alone. But, it is a crucial component, one which will amplify your strengths and make your speeches impactful.
Confidence is also something you can improve with time. It worked for Neil Patel, and it can work for you.
So, make an effort to stay positive and ignore your inner critic. Do your homework before each speech and be ready. Also, there’s nothing wrong with playing up your confidence from time to time.
Practice this regularly and you’ll see a shift. Your mindset will change, and this confidence will then come even without the extra effort.
Speakers Institute can teach you a lot more about succeeding in the speaking business. To get started, we recommend the following steps:
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