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How can you get confident enough to speak in front of a huge crowd? (Confident conversations 1/3)

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

When you’re in front of a crowd have you ever thought one of these things?

A. That you have nothing valuable to add

B. That you don’t deserve to be there

C. That you look stupid

Ok now hold that answer for a second.

Last week I spoke at the 2022 Youth Marketing strategy conference on a Gen-Z panel. I was on the same stage as the CMO of eBay, the founder of Thursday and a Director at Twitch (not at the same time, but god (or maybe it was my mom I can’t remember) told me that it might happen next year if I keep working hard). Before stepping on stage in front of this huge crowd of people, I felt a little nervous, but overall I felt prepared and confident.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I felt comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. In the past, I used to think all three of the things I listed at the beginning of this article, and I used to think them a lot. Do you still think these things? If you do, you’re not alone. I still feel this way sometimes, and so do pretty much all of my friends, but there are ways to overcome the voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough. The way you’re going to push past self doubt and reach radical confidence, which to me is doing something in spite of fear, is going to be different than me. There are three places where I have made mistakes and I’m going to share what they were and the ways I’ve learned to overcome them through this series. My hope is that you can adapt them to your own life to become a more effective public speaker.

The first mistake I made was that I didn’t come across as confident, and it’s because I wasn’t. I’ll tell you a story, I used to wake up most days feeling like I wasn’t good enough. There was this nagging voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t measuring up throughout university and it got even worse in the pandemic when I was alone and an ocean away from my family. You can probably relate to the feeling of being an imposter, most of us can, but there are two ways I overcame self-doubt that changed my life.

The first is I reached out to others for support. My family wasn’t close, but my housemates were there the whole time. Once I let them in and opened the conversation around how I was feeling, I got the assurance I needed and it brought us closer. I also got a mentor who was experienced in the industry through Surrey Connects. My wonderful mentor/ second mom Richella has helped me so much in reassuring me and helping guide me to believe in myself. You might be thinking you have to have self-confidence on your own, and to a certain extent you’re right, but there is no shame in reaching out for advice and reassurance and I wish more people remembered the option was there in times of doubt.

The second thing I did to improve my confidence was I started treating myself better. I go to the gym, I eat in a way that fuels me and I say no when something is going to make me unhappy. If you are someone who is living for others, your self worth might be tied up in what they think about you. In my experience, when I was trying to please everyone, I couldn’t do it and the person who was most unhappy was me. If you resonate with this, then think of your time and energy the same way you think of a paycheck. Pay yourself first, and then spend the rest on other people and projects. I want you to remember that you have control over your time, your skillset and your happiness. If you start investing in yourself, I promise the savings will add up and over time your confidence will grow when you start treating yourself the same way you treat people you love.

If you can become confident in who you are and your abilities, you won’t worry so much when you’re on stage and make a mistake. You will know your value and at the same time, will have compassion for yourself if you do make a mistake. If you take anything away from this, let it be that if you don’t believe in yourself it will translate on stage, but it’s within your control to make the changes you need to gain the confidence you need to act with integrity, competence and warmth.

Like I said at the start of this article, I hope you’re able to take some of what I’ve learned from years of public speaking and incorporate it into your life. I’m going to set out challenges for you below based on my mistakes that I want you to try and take on this week based on where you are.The best time to start to improve yourself is now. You have no control over who you were one minute ago. That opportunity has passed, but who you are five minutes from now or ten years from now? That’s someone you have a say in.

If you don’t feel confident, this week I want you to try and find someone on a mentoring platform or Linkedin and ask them for a virtual coffee. Another option is you can reach out to a friend/family member you trust and ask them for three reasons why they’re friends with you. I also want you to spend 15 minutes learning about something you’ve always wanted to learn about on Google or YouTube.

If you decide to take one of these challenges, let me know now in a message or in the comments with the name of your dream dinner guest (the written commitment will make it so you’re more likely to do it psychologically!) and if you liked these tips make sure to follow me on LinkedIn to be notified about new blog posts.


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Jun 14, 2022



Tom Holland! Great article Laura :)

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