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The More We Allow Ourselves To Do Silly Things, The More Confident We Become

The More We Allow Ourselves To Do Silly Things, The More Confident We Become

How should a confident person be like?

Someone who does everything well, believes in his competence, and has pride in his achievements? Or someone who does stupid things occasionally in front of others?

The former description might seem to fit the typical definition of confident people. Innumerable articles and discussions tell us that to be more confident, we need to remind ourselves of what we have achieved whenever we doubt ourselves.

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But what if the answer is the other way round? In fact, the ones who are more willing to accept their idiocies are more confident.

Some people are not really that confident.

We are conscious of our competence and achievements because they are probably the only solid things in our lives to prove our abilities and strengths. We say Usain Bolt is an excellent sprinter not just because he is physically strong but because he has the ability to break world records. The recognition and pride that come from within are our sources of confidence.

But in the long term, if we will care too much about our dignity and overestimate our importance, we will easily avoid situations that threaten them.

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Let’s say if Bolt were someone who cared much about his dignity, it is very likely that he would refuse when someone invited him to participate in any competition as he would fear that failure would damage his image as a great runner.

Confidence built upon our competence achievements might not be something that we should look for. Accept our stupidity is the way to build true confidence.

Everyone is stupid and deranged by nature.

It might be hard to accept it but let’s face the truth: everyone is stupid in some sense.

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You and I certainly have some moments finding ourselves stupid, no exception for the great people. Erasmus, a Dutch Renaissance humanist who wrote In Praise of Folly, suggested that everyone is a fool by nature. He himself was also a fool in his eyes. He was irrationally nervous whenever he met new people and acted stupidly in banquets even he was well-respected for his profound knowledge.

We should not keep reassuring our dignity but recognize the fact that everyone does silly things and makes mistakes from time to time. Sometimes we try to cover our weaknesses as much as possible because of the fear of humiliation. But embracing our foolishness is the first step to truly build our confidence.

Confidence has a much broader meaning than just being proud. When everyone is as silly as we are, there’s nothing wrong to do one more silly thing in life. And we will be more comfortable living with our own skin.

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Make fun of yourself!

Allowing yourself to make mistakes and laugh at yourself afterwards is the key to build your confidence. If you are a lost tourist, you can embrace your innocence and kindly ask for direction despite the fact that people might regard you with contempt. But it’s totally fine. You can simply laugh at yourself for not getting well-prepared for your trip.

When you laugh at yourself more often, you will realize that you don’t need to be perfect to be accepted. We can do nothing about our stupidity as it is an inborn quality of the human race. How great it is to know that even the greatest people are as stupid as we are! The true confidence we have will allow us to give things a go and accept whatever happens to us.

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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