One absolute way to kill confidence

I’m young and worried they’ll intimidate me.

I’m having a senior moment.

I don’t understand that generation.

Whether you’re 24 and striving to make your mark or 54 and hoping you’re still relevant, the problem is the same. Attention to your age instead of your expertise is a guaranteed way to kill confidence – yours and theirs.

Self-deprecating “humor” and focusing on the negative brings attention to the problem and is self-defeating.

Be prepared so no matter what they say to you, you maintain control. Go out and give it your best. It’s the best you can do.

3 replies
  1. andy
    andy says:

    Excellent advice. Politicians do this all the time and many get re-elected. So do heads of large corporations and TV news personalities. Whatever helps them seem personable. Someone I can have a beer with, as they say.

  2. speakersue
    speakersue says:

    Thanks, Andy. The only time I recommend self-deprecating humor is when something is so obvious that if we don’t say something, the omission os saying something, will be a distraction. Like if you spill coffee on your shirt/blouse on the way to the presentation. Bringing attention to the stain, and being clever about it, would make sense. Kind of like Bush saying how his speaking at some college yesterday was a step backward for that college’s English department (and maybe a boon for their beer sales!).Thanks for your great posts, too, at

  3. Terry Gault
    Terry Gault says:


    Whatever your age, as the presenter, it is your job to create the best environment for your audience to have a good experience, so taking charge of the space is crucial. If you need to move something, move it. If you need to write something on the flip chart or white board, do so.

    If you become too deferential, it can be seen as a lack of confidence , which will undermine your authority and thereby your presentation as a whole!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *