From Fear to Fearless: 3 ways to boost your leadership communication confidence

From Fear to Fearless: 3 ways to boost your leadership communication confidence
By: The Humphrey Group

The stakes at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo could not have been higher for Simone Biles, an
American gymnast celebrated for her extraordinary athletic achievements and considered one
of the greatest athletes in the sport’s history.

Facing immense pressure and sky-high expectations, she shocked the world when she
withdrew from the competition citing mental health concerns, and the possibility of experiencing
a dangerous phenomenon where gymnasts lose track of their positioning mid-air. The high-
profile withdrawal due largely to mental health reasons marked a significant moment in sports

Her decision also demonstrated a deep confidence in herself. This act of bravery underscores
that leadership involves not only the outcomes produced, but also the courage to make
decisions that defy conventional expectations. By prioritizing her mental health so publicly, Biles
emerged as a strong advocate who inadvertently strengthened her role as a leader.

At The Humphrey Group, we emphasize the critical role that communication plays in effective
leadership – and confidence is the bedrock of that. After all, whether we intend to or not, we are
communicating at almost all times. Whether it’s through our posture or the tone of our voice, we
project a message to those around us.

Many people struggle with confidence in leadership settings. Yet strong communication underpinned by authentic confidence is required to inspire others to act. Here are three strategies to boost your confidence and become a more effective leader.


Leaders embrace a sense of purpose

When you're clear about your vision and the impact you want to make, you’re more likely to speak and act with conviction. When you’re passionate and purposeful, your confidence becomes contagious. You can’t help but inspire others to share in your vision.

What does it mean to have vision? Essentially, vision is the ability to see a future outcome that you believe is worth pursuing and that you want others to support as well. It's like a destination that you're guiding your team toward.

Imagine a not-for-profit director who envisions a community where every child has access to quality education. This is a large-scale vision that requires a lot of mobilization and resourcing. Because the director is clear and passionate about their vision, they're able to inspire volunteers, donors, and staff to contribute their time, resources, and skills to make it a reality.


Transform information into inspiration

In today’s digital landscape, information is more easily accessible than ever. That means audiences are not interested in hearing long lists of data. Regurgitating facts at your audience is not inspirational, and it simply won’t light them up.

 It also creates a negative cycle, because when your audience isn't engaged, it affects your confidence. To truly inspire, you need to connect your vision to actionable ideas and use facts and data to back up your ideas. This approach not only makes your message credible but also compelling and motivating.

Consider a healthcare manager aiming to improve patient care standards. Simply presenting data on patient outcomes informs the staff about the current state but may not drive change. Instead, by framing these statistics within a story about how improved care can profoundly impact patients' lives, the manager reminds the team why they care, which inspires them to act.


Put your audience first

Inspiring others starts by focusing on what your audience needs. Whether you're addressing a small group or a large crowd, it’s vital to think about what your audience is looking for and how you can meet those expectations. At The Humphrey Group, we call this being audience-centered. 

When you ask yourself why your audience would want to hear what you have to say, you begin to think about their needs instead of focusing on your nerves about speaking in front of a huge group or your boss’ boss’ boss.

Take, for example, a sales leader who is unveiling a new strategy. By first considering what their audience will care about hearing, they approach their presentation by explaining how it will simplify the team’s workflow and reduce workload. It’s easier to feel confident about delivering an impactful message when you anticipate it will resonate with the team.


Cultivate Confidence: A Leader’s Mindset

At the heart of developing confidence in your leadership lies what The Humphrey Group calls the “Leader’s Mindset,” in other words, believing in your ability to inspire others. By embracing a sense of purpose, transforming information into inspiration, and putting your audience first, you lay the groundwork for effective leadership communication.

These principles are part of a larger framework that can help you build and maintain confidence in any situation. By integrating them into your everyday interactions, you can build up a leader’s mindset that not only enhances your own confidence, but also empowers you to inspire and guide others effectively every time you speak.



Want to learn more about The Leader's Mindset? Check out our signature learning experience, Speaking as a Leader