Is it Possible to be Too Confident?

May 22, 2018


Many clients come to me with fears about speaking. 


Actually, I never worry about helping someone with speech anxiety.  With the right coaching and practice, I’ve helped hundreds of people shine in front of the room, despite feeling apprehensive.


The person I worry about has the opposite problem.


The Over-Confident Speaker


Tyler is a small business owner who is outgoing, sure of himself, and full of energy. He was the featured speaker at an event I attended last month.  A mutual friend introduced us just as he was about to address the crowd.


  • He was bold.

  • He talked loud and fast.

  • He gave us a lot (and I mean a lot) of information.


Afterwards, he winked at me and said, “I guess you’ve figured out that I won’t be needing your services. I’m not shy about speaking!”


Hmmmmmm.  Over-confidence.  I've seen this before.


Tyler will probably never come to me or anyone else for help.  He is under the impression that because he’s not afraid of public speaking, he must be good at it.


He’s wrong.


There is so much more to speaking than feeling confident. You have to be competent. 


Tyler’s energy was overpowering.  The frantic pace of his delivery was unsettling.  He overwhelmed and confused us with too much information, and most of all, his patter felt “rehearsed” and insincere.


But boy, was he confident! 


I noticed that after his talk very few people asked for his card, and I doubt that he’ll get much follow through business based upon his presentation that day.


If only he was self-aware enough to slow down, connect with his authentic voice, and tell some compelling stories.  And he needs to learn how to structure his talk for maximum memorability.


A presentation is only as good as the impact it has on the audience.


I would encourage him to watch himself on video and solicit some objective feedback. 


He needs a coach.


Overconfidence blinds us from seeking the help we need to be great.  Confidence does not always equal competence.  


All the best,


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