Our most recent guest on the Go With The Pro Twitter chat was Simon Raybould.

Simon (Dr Raybould if you’re signing a contract with him) is a well known presentation and confidence trainer. He spent 24 years as a research scientist, and that need to use what is proven, not just personal opinion, has stuck with him into his training career. His last book, Presentation Genius, went straight to the top ten in the best sellers list!

Simon’s also been a lighting designer for dance companies, an author and playwright, and a professional fire-eater!

Here’s Simon giving us his top tips on feeling more confident, in his own words!

How to look and sound more confident, even when you’re nervous

Talk less and move less. Slow down. There’s evidence that when we’re nervous we fidget and our voices go up.

Make a point of standing *still*, breathing out slowly and – daft as it sounds – relaxing your bum. That will lower your voice too, which makes you sound more trustworthy.

Top tip from our co-founder, Gemma: Smile! Take a deep breath, speak slowly and clearly and make sure you maintain eye contact with the person/people you are speaking to.

How to feel more confident during meetings with potential or existing clients

You need to remember one thing and know another. The thing to remember is that it’s a partnership of equals. They have money, sure, but you have the competence and what they need. It’s a fair trade – they’re not doing you a bloody favour by buying your stuff!

The thing you need to know is your BATNA! Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. In other words, it’s the point at which you say to yourself “stuff it, this isn’t worth it”. Work that out BEFORE you talk to clients and stick to it!

Top tip from our co-founder, Clare: The most important thing to remember is that you are equals. You offer a service they need. If there is any imbalance in the professional relationship it won’t work in the long term. It’s a meeting, not an interview, and you are there to offer your professional expertise. 

Phrases to avoid to sound more confident about your offering

The first rule is to be confident of what you “need to live on” and then what your product is worth. The first is your lowest, fall-back price and the latter is your asking price.

Knowing where your cut-off points are won’t make you confident on its own, but you can’t be confident without it!

Then the rule is not to apologise! And once you’ve PROPERLY worked out the two numbers in part 1, there’s no need to have to!  Even asking for only 5% less than your product/service is worth is doing your client a favour! You’re not begging!

Top tip from our co-founder, Ruth: Always have a Yes, If” and a “No, But” list – things you are prepared to say yes to but will require something in return and things that are your red lines but can offer something instead. Try and work out what will be important and of value to them before the meeting as this will help formulate your list.

Pause before you agree on rates, you can always go away and think about it and come back with another offer.  Never feel pressured to say yes on the spot.

How to feel more confident at networking events

There are several tactics! The first is to PRACTICE networking where you know your clients WON’T be. I know it sounds counter-productive but it means that when/if you screw up, it doesn’t matter!

By all means find somewhere friendly to do that, but don’t look for your ideal events straight away! When you’ve got your tactics practice, THEN it’s the time to look for better opportunities.

The second tactic is to have two targets for the session. One is your “basic” to make the meeting worthwhile. The second is “advanced” for if it’s going well. That way, if you’re knackered you know when you can walk away.

The third tactic is not to think of networking as networking or anything sales-y at all. Go in with an attitude of “what can I give” and you take the pressure off yourself.

You’ll feel much less anxious if what you’re trying to do is help people, not sell to them. The sales come after, when relationships are strong.

Top tip from our co-founder, Cathy: Adjust your mindset! Networking is just an opportunity to get to know people whose skills may complement your own, who may be able to offer your professional advice or who may require your services at some point in the future.

How to make a confident elevator pitch

I’ve got just the thing. It’s a PDF download called ‘the Colon Technique”. There’s not even a sign up for it. Just download it here.  

Top tip from our co-founder, Nicole: Show that you understand the needs of the people you meet and show how you’re different (in a good way!) Be careful not to use social media jargon and don’t waffle – make it about them.

Why people hate seeing themselves on video or photos

This is such a big question and it holds people back a lot. I blogged about it here.

But it all boils down to the fact that we see video differently from how we see real life. In real life we ignore most of what we see with our conscious brain, because it’s not dangerous.

When we’re watching a video we’re *paying attention* and as we normally only do that to dangerous things, our brains interpret everything on the video as a threat!

Preparing for a pitch or big meeting

The million dollar question! If I had a Twitter-sized answer I’d not make a living out of training people in how to do it!

The research on self talk is fascinating. In short, self talk works for people who believe it’s going to work and less for those who don’t. My personal opinion here is that the kind of people who can do it have a special kind of confidence already, but that’s opinion, not research!

The best simple answer is a trick called “Catch the Apple” and it means to concentrate JUST on the meeting, and NOT the possible outcomes/consequences.

A big pitch is the same as a small pitch when you’re in the room, it’s just that the things that might happen afterwards are more significant, so ignore them!

Top tip from our co-founder, Nicole: Think about what your potential client wants to achieve and what you can offer in relation. Have examples handy you could apply to any situation. If you’re feeling nervous pretend to feel confident until you are. Use all your tools:

💪Rehearsal

💪Charm

💪Visuals

💪Listening skills.

You’ve got this!

What’s next?

Do you think you’ll be able to pitch with more confidence now? Why not let us know in the free Go With The Pro Facebook group?

Go With The Pro Membership Team

We know that not feeling confident enough can hold you back when you want to grow your business. Go With The Pro members have access to a huge range of courses and resources to help them feel more confident. Discover more about what we offer.

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