Many women have experienced this when speaking in public at work:  whether in a meeting, giving a speech or a presentation, it is not always easy. Fear of judgement from others, impostor syndrome or, more simply, fear of speaking in English... The reasons are so varied that the challenge sometimes seems insurmountable. "However, facing the challenge is possible as long as you believe in your potential," says Marie Stephenson, executive coach and partner of Cala Consulting. On 8th April 2022, her English-language webinar entitled "Release your own powerful female voice" brought together - and inspired - some fifteen members of the Cala Learning Hub network.

Injunctions and limiting beliefs rooted in childhood

So what prevents many women from asserting themselves in public? The deeper reasons are often hidden in childhood among the many injunctions and drivers transmitted by parents or adults. For example: "be perfect", "please", "don't be yourself", "be strong"... These injunctions are defined by transactional analysis, a theory dating from the 1950s that explains human behaviour and the way we communicate. In addition, there is a whole host of limiting beliefs: "I'm too young to be taken seriously", "I'm not educated enough", "I don't deserve this job"...

5 practical tips for gaining confidence

- Rewrite your story

"Who would you be without these injunctions and beliefs that prevent you from fulfilling yourself?" By analysing where your own blockages come from, you can start to transform them into positive behaviours.
- Get inspiration from other women (or men)
All you have to do is identify role models (Brené Brown, Amy Cuddy, Michelle Obama, etc.) and list what you like about them. "The idea is not to copy them, but to be inspired by the way they express themselves in public," says Marie.
- Breathe calmly
Simply concentrating on your breathing for a few minutes will help you relax and tackle problems more calmly. You can use a relaxation or cardiac coherence app to help you do this.
- Be proud of your presentation
Prepare your content thoroughly using storytelling techniques, key messages, anecdotes... And rehearse your speech in advance.
- Visualise your success
A practical exercise: focus on your breathing and imagine you are in a peaceful, relaxing place. Then visualise yourself giving your presentation. You are that confident person who likes to share her ideas and is comfortable in front of others.
This is a way to send a positive message to your brain!
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Blog article written by par Laure Blancard :