Yes, at home. If you get caught trying this in the work loo, your colleagues will recommend a psychiatrist.
This is for you if you suffer from symptoms of nervousness that your audience can see and/or hear. Examples: a nervous smile, a tremor in your voice, speaking too fast and without pauses, a twitch, or very little body language, a reluctance to look directly into people's eyes. If any of your symptoms are like those, then this cure might work for you.
The method works for two reasons. First, you're showing your own brain the difference in symptoms between nervousness and confidence. Second, by practising the symptoms of confidence, you're building into your brain the circuitry of confidence.
Keep building and the act turns into reality. Make confidence a habit.
Yes, it's brilliant. I'm not exaggerating, the method below will do all this for you:
All that from one, very simple idea. I call it 'Speaking in packets'. Let me spell it out:
Don't slow down. Instead, speak a phrase (or short sentence) at your normal pace, then pause for just one second (a single heartbeat) before you start the next phrase.
That's all there is to it. The extraordinary thing is that you're still speaking at your normal fast pace, but the audience does not think of it as too fast. Here's an example - try reading it aloud with the heartbeat pauses:
What I suggest (...deliberate 1 second pause...) is that we start the new schedule immediately.(...deliberate pause...) At the moment, some of our clients are confused (...deliberate pause...). Jamie says he's had 10 calls just this morning from clients who don't know when to make the corresponding change in their own systems.. (...deliberate pause...) We can't let that confusion continue.
Notice that the pausing is not regular or predictable. That longer second-to-last sentence still does not seem too fast, now that you've established a controlled pace.
Now try it out with your own words. Tell your friend in the mirror why you enjoy your sport or hobby. Don't worry about where to pause, in just a few minutes you'll find yourself in a rhythm where it happens naturally.
That word 'deliberate' is important. Even in that tiny pause, you are making it obvious that you're making the audience wait for the next bit. They respect that. (Points 2 and 3 on the list above.) And of course, it you are deliberately making them wait, you'll automatically cure the habit of filling silence with ums. (Point 4.) Strong accent? The silences give the audience a chance to let each bunch of words sink in and make sense. (Point 5.)
Try it out on a trusted work colleague with a serious work topic. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Well? Are you pleasantly surprised? In that case go to this self-administered master class: make some pauses longer, and during the silence look from one part of your audience to another. You will look convincing, confident, in control. Believable.