What moving toward an audience increases your confidence
We may think that fear works in the following way: 1. I feel fear. 2. I run away. In practice it is the opposite.
Chris Walsh in his book Cowardice, elaborates on the fear response, “Generations of Psych 101 students have been given this shorthand for this theory of emotion: “I run, therefore I fear”. It’s hard for them to wrap their heads around this theory, because it runs counter to “common sense” and what feels like personal experience.
After one beholds a frightening object, one’s body responds with an elevated heartbeat or by automatically performing some action: this bodily response is then interpreted by the mind as fear.
Amborse Bierce defined a coward as “one who, in a time of perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.”
The take-away point for you from the above is that when you are doing a stand-up presentation, move closer to the audience, versus moving back (ie, ‘moving backward with your legs’). Once you move closer to the audience plant your feet and speak. As the presentation continues you can move. But after you move – stop, plant your feet again and speak from that spot for a time, as so on.
By moving closer to the audience you will feel more confident and the audience will perceive you as more confident (Obviously you can move too close to the audience and I’m not suggesting this).
Your Call to action/How to apply for this post: In the next seven days, when you feel anxiety in a business pitch, presentation or chance encounter, move toward the person(s). Reflect on how this movement affects your emotions.