This week, we focus on CONFIDENCE ONSTAGE. I wonder if Brené Brown still feels nervous when she goes onstage?  I’m guessing she would say YES… 

Did you watch any TED Talks over the past week? There is one TED Talk in particular that Talk About Talk podcast guest experts frequently reference. Do you know which one it is? It’s Brené Brown. Brené Brown has been a professor of social work since 2002, and she first took the TED stage in 2010, so she’s had lots of practice wth her confidence onstage. 

Let’s do this!

First – ?The PODCAST

This ?episode is the 2nd of a two-part Talk About Talk podcast series with Andrew Musselman:

Andrea Wojnicki & Andrew Musselman
I conducted this interview with Andrew Musselman several weeks ago, face-to-face at my dining room table – pre-COVID-19!  I recall three things, in particular about this interview:
  1. ? It was fun! My face hurt from smiling and laughing – which is always a good sign
  2. TIme went by fast! I didn’t look at the time until we were done, and we had clocked two hours of quality audio.   That’s when it first occurred to me that we had two episodes here – one on preparing the presentation, and one focused on confidence onstage.
  3. I learned a lot! 
When you listen to these two podcasts, you’ll probably experience the same thing – it’s fun, it goes by fast, and you’ll learn a lot!

I pulled out some of the key learnings for you below, specifically:

  • hacks for confidence onstage,
  • things to keep in mind when you’re onstage, and
  • body language tips

Andrew Musselman of Fluency
Thank you, Andrew!

Click HERE to listen to the ?podcast now.



Here are three hacks for confidence onstage you’ll hear from Andrew Musselman in the podcast:

  3. PAUSE


  • Consider that nervous energy can enhance your performance.
  • According to Harvard professor Amy Cuddy, we should focus less on the impression that we’re making on other people and more on the impression that we’re making on ourselves. “Don’t fake it till you make it.  Fake it till you become it.”
  • Don’t forget that most people feel nervous when they present. Take it from Mark Twain…
Mark Twain on confidence onstage

makes Perfect. 

  • How to overcome nerves? Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. 


Slow down and PAUSE

  • When we are nervous, we tend to talk too fast.
  • Pausing provides us an opportunity to breathe deeply and to think. A shift in cadence or disruption in rhythm encourages the audience to take notice.



Are you ready to take the stage?  Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

confidence onstage?

1️⃣ Warming up 

  • Meet the challenge physically. Athletes warm up before they perform.  So should you!
  • Shake your hands, jump up and down, stretch, or go for a walk. Whatever works for you. 

2️⃣ Referencing your slides

  • Remember the audience can’t read and listen to you at the same time. It’s one or the other.
  • If it’s short, you can read it to them. 
  • If it’s longer, ask them to read it themselves. Then turn around to face the slide and read it slowly to yourself.  Take your time.  And breathe!

3️⃣ Keep the audience’s attention with variation across the 4P’s

  • Pitch– high and low register
  • Pace– fast and slow speed
  • Projection– pause and think on the inhale, project your voice on the exhale
  • Posture– move your body – but with purpose
Speaking of posture,
what about BODY LANGUAGE?

?‍♀️ ?‍♂️ ?‍♀️



Andrew Musselman says that when we are on stage, our gestures need to be controlled, purposeful and precise. That means practicing not just the words, but also our body language when we’re rehearsing.  

Here are 3 specific things to try:

  1. POSTURE: Be expansive. Take up lots of space and stand up tall.
  2. FEET: It’s ok to stay behind the podium if you’re too nervous to move, but movement is good. Walking around is more interesting and gives you a chance to expend nervous energy. That said, your feet should be firmly planted. Don’t be shifty! Move with purpose.
  3. HANDS: Make gestures. Keep your hands visible. Show that you’re not hiding anything. Home base for hands is the steeple or prism position.

?? ✋ 


That’s a lot  to keep in mind, isn’t it? Well, reading this blog and then listening to the podcasts will help you internalize everything Andrew suggests. Remember, practice really does make perfect! You got this!  I know you do!

Great speech - Dr. Andrea Wojnicki

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Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach

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