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5 steps to overcome shyness and communicate with confidence!

Published on 8th November 2016

Are you a natural introvert or a shy person looking to improve your communication skills? The key to being a strong verbal communicator is confidence.

In this post are 5 simple ways you can boost your confidence and improve your verbal communication skills.

1. Always give your opinion

When in meetings, always ensure you participate, however big or small your input is. A common misconception is for shy people is to think their opinions aren’t valuable, but this definitely isn’t true! Always offer your opinion - you wouldn’t have been asked to attend the meeting if colleagues didn’t want your contribution.

2. Don’t dwell on your mistakes – let things go

Did you stutter over the phone or send out an email with an error? Don't overanalyse these accidents! These small mistakes happen to everyone- it does not mean you are unable to communicate effectively.

Take these accidents as experiences you want to learn from. Going forward focus on how you will improve your communication skills as opposed to wasting time and energy worrying about a past mistake. What’s done is done, so learn from it and move on.

3. Practice presenting

When the opportunity arises for you to present to your team, seize the opportunity and use it as a way to enhance your communication skills and challenge yourself.

Always allow a few days beforehand to rehearse. When it comes developing your communication skills practice makes perfect. Use your partner, kids or even your dog to present to at home. You can also present to yourself in the mirror or set up a camera and film yourself presenting so you can see how you come across.

The more you rehearse before the presentation, the more comfortable you will be with your yourself! This will allow you stand more confidentially when presenting to the team. Don’t forget to make eye contact with the audience throughout your presentation, this will make you appear confident and in control.  

4. Join a network outside of work

Networking is a great way to build up your confidence! People with shy personalities fear their opinions may be judged amongst colleagues at work so will limit sharing their thoughts in conversation. You are likely to feel much more comfortable speaking amongst people you don’t see every single day.

This habit of offering your point of view through networking will eventually allow you to do the same in the office.

5. Ease yourself out of your comfort zone

All progress takes place outside your comfort zone! You can set small goals to work towards this. For example, your weekly goal could be to raise a point in a meeting. Forcing yourself to take steps that make you nervous is the only way to grow.

These goals do not have to only apply to work related scenarios. You can broaden your horizons outside of work. For example, running a marathon for charity. This is a tough goal to work towards. This will allow you to meet likeminded individuals along the way, build your confidence in another area and it’s something to use as a point of conversation back in the office!

As a naturally shy individual, these tips may be painful to implement at first but I promise if you stick at them you will find your confidence growing which will instantly result in stronger communication skills!