How to Be a Confident Speaker and Podcast Host | Boosting Your Online Presence and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

No matter your experience level as a podcast host, having confidence as a speaker is key to establishing your voice as an authority in the industry. As a podcaster, your voice has the power to captivate an audience, but it’s not uncommon to experience a lack of confidence with a sprinkle of imposter syndrome. Luckily, confidence is a skill that can be learned and perfected over time with practice. Let this be your guide to help empower your voice as you deliver your message with authenticity and conviction!

What is imposter syndrome?

Before we dive into techniques for building your confidence when speaking, we must first understand what imposter syndrome is, how it manifests, and how to overcome it. 

According to Verywell Mind, imposter syndrome is what you experience psychologically that makes you feel like a fraud or a phony in different areas of your life. Think of it like teaching a class about a subject you have no idea about. You might feel immense pressure to over perform and feel that you’re greatly underqualified for the task at hand. 

When it comes to experiencing imposter syndrome at work, you might feel intimidated by your peers or like you’re the only one who has no idea what they’re doing, even if you are indeed qualified for your position. 

Does any of this sound familiar? Imposter syndrome can affect anyone’s ability to be their best, most confident self in any setting. This is especially true for podcast hosts for many reasons. For some, speaking with conviction doesn’t come naturally and they have to put in extra effort to make their talking points clear and convincing. Others might struggle to enunciate their words which not only sounds like they lack confidence when speaking, but they might not be a credible resource on that particular topic. 

It’s exhausting to constantly doubt your accomplishments and operate in persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, even if you’re well qualified. Keep in mind that your anxiety is lying to you. Your perception of what others might think about you isn’t reality. You never truly know how someone else feels or thinks about you, so when you assume their thoughts and feelings, you typically assume the worst. For some reason, our brains deploy this sort of self-sabotage when an ounce of insecurity enters our thoughts.

It’s important to recognize imposter syndrome so you can overcome it. Here are some tips for understanding its underlying causes and adopting effective strategies to boost your confidence:

  • Recognize your achievements: It’s absolutely okay to be proud of your accomplishments and to take pride in the hard work you do. Take note of what you’ve achieved to get to where you are. Even the smallest victories are worth celebrating.

  • Be vulnerable: Something people tend to forget is that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength. When you embrace your imperfections and learn to accept your true self, this makes your podcast relatable and authentic. 

  • Challenge your self doubt: This is something we all struggle with at one point or another where we experience negative self-talk. If we don’t challenge negative thoughts about ourselves when they occur and ask questions like, “Why did I just say that about myself”, or “How come I’m doubting my abilities”, then those thoughts can fester and grow. When we challenge these thoughts, it empowers us to use our unique strengths and focus on self-compassion. This might be a hard skill to master, but it comes with practice.

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Boosting your confidence as a podcast host and speaker

One of the best things about confidence is that it’s a skill that can be learned. It’s not some physical trait we’re born with, but is something we can acquire over time with reinforcement and self-patience. 

Since podcasting is a form of audio entertainment, the audience picks up on a host’s confidence through the way they speak rather than how they act or look. The first step to boosting your confidence as a podcaster is to know your audience. Who is your target audience? What are your listener’s likes and dislikes with your content? How do they typically receive your content? Listening to your own episodes can help you fine tune your voice and audio habits. From there, you can tailor your content to resonate with your listeners, making you feel more confident that you are providing valuable, quality information. 

Practice, practice, practice. Prioritize knowing your content ahead of time so you aren’t caught off guard during recording. We suggest scripting the episode or loosely mapping talking points so you feel more comfortable with the material you’re presenting. Practicing your content can also improve your speaking skills as you’ll be well-versed on pronunciation and intonation, which is the makings of an excellent storyteller. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with your speaking style. Depending on the content and overall message you want to convey with a podcast, your tone can be altered to achieve the desired result. Your on-air presence is crucial for engaging and retaining your audience and captivating listeners, like confidence, is a skill that’s developed with time and practice. Once you understand your target audience and have a conversational style developed, you can inject enthusiasm and energy into the right places of your content to keep it engaging. 

Remember, no matter how good of a storyteller you are or how much confidence you have, we all make mistakes. Don’t let a speaking mistake bog you down. Nurture your confidence, speak kindly to yourself, and try again. When you invest in improving your skills, you can overcome imposter syndrome and be an incredibly authentic speaker your audience is sure to love. 

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