5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Before A Talk

5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Before A Talk

Let’s talk about boosting your confidence right before you need to give a talk!

Picture this: you’re waiting for your talk to start - maybe you’re backstage, listening to the previous speaker, or maybe you’re behind your desk waiting for that important meeting. Wherever you are, you’re dealing with nerves and you’re repeating your lines over and over to yourself. This is the moment to stop and have a moment just for yourself. Do something that will allow you to calm down and breathe. Doing this one thing for yourself will put you in a much better mindset for your talk!

What that something is, will be different for each person. You need to figure out what works for you and it might take trying out a few different things till you get there. It might be breathing exercises, power poses or talking to a friend. For me, my favourite confidence booster for this moment is music! Especially songs that are high energy, happy and have a good message!

In this post, I'll share 5 ways to boost your confidence before you go on stage, helping you to calm down and get into the right mindset.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are a simple yet effective way to calm your nerves and centre yourself before a talk. There are different types of breathing exercises that you can do, each focused on a different pattern and style of breathing. Experiment with different styles to figure out which one works best for you. Here's one to start with:

Start by finding a comfortable seated or standing position. Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill completely. Hold the breath for a moment, then exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing any tension or anxiety with each breath. Focus your attention on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body, grounding yourself in the moment and allowing yourself to let go of any tension or anxiety.

Despite having done a ton of conference talks, I'll still get nervous in the minutes leading up to a talk. My heart will be racing, I'll get jittery and I can't stop thinking about what I want to say when I'm on stage. Whenever I feel this way, I'll do some breathing exercises first, to calm myself down and get my heart rate to a slightly more regular level.

Power poses

Power poses are not just about striking a confident stance; they're about embodying confidence from within. Before your talk, find a quiet space where you can stand tall and open up your body. You might hold the classic "Superman" pose with your hands on your hips or raise your arms in a victory stance. Spend a few moments in this pose, breathing deeply and allowing yourself to feel the strength and assurance it brings.

Even if you initially feel silly, the physical manifestation of confidence can positively impact your mindset. It also helps you stretch and correct your posture, allowing you to be more confident when you walk on stage or into that meeting.


Visualization is a powerful tool used by athletes, performers, and speakers alike to mentally rehearse success. Close your eyes and imagine yourself stepping onto the stage or into the meeting room. Picture the scene vividly: the faces of your audience, the setting, and most importantly, yourself speaking with confidence and authority. Visualize the words flowing effortlessly from your mouth, capturing the attention and respect of those around you. As you rehearse this mental scenario, focus on feeling calm, confident, and in control. The more you visualize success, the more likely you are to embody it when the moment arrives.

Talk to a friend

Sometimes, the best way to calm pre-talk nerves is to have a chat with someone you trust. Reach out to a friend, mentor, or colleague who understands your situation and can provide encouragement and reassurance, and (if possible) bring them along to the event. A friendly conversation in the minutes leading up to your talk can help normalize your emotions and remind you that you're not alone in facing this.

By focusing on the presence of your friend and engaging in conversation, you can shift your attention away from pre-talk jitters and channel your energy into getting into the right mindset. Knowing that you have someone in your corner, cheering you on and believing in your abilities, can help instil a greater sense of confidence as you prepare to deliver your talk.

Listen to music

Music has the power to influence our mood and mindset in many ways. Before your talk, create a playlist of songs that inspire confidence, calmness, or motivation. Choose music that resonates with you and evokes the emotions you want to bring to the talk. You might choose upbeat tracks with empowering lyrics to pump you up, or soothing melodies with gentle rhythms to help you relax.

Take a few moments to listen to your chosen playlist, and let the music help you get into the right mindset for your talk.

Here are a couple of my favourite confidence-boosting songs, but find the songs that work for you!

  • 💿 Brave - Sara Bareilles
  • 💿 It’s My Life - Bon Jovi
  • 💿 Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
  • 💿 We Are Golden - Mika
  • 💿 Make Your Own Kind of Music - Cass Elliot
  • 💿 You’re The Voice - John Farnham
  • 💿 What’s Up - 4 Non Blondes
  • 💿 Go The Distance - Disney’s Hercules
  • 💿 Brighter Than The Sun - Colbie Caillat
  • 💿 Speechless - Naomi Scott
  • 💿 F**kin’ Perfect - Pink

I've added the above and more in this Spotify playlist, so go ahead and grab those songs if you want to start your own list. Each of these songs has some element of speaking up, feeling more confident and finding your own way! What songs would you include in your playlist? Share them in the comments - I’d love to see what songs other people would choose.


Remember, finding what works best for you may require some trial and error. Experiment with these strategies and personalize them to suit your preferences and needs. With practice, you'll develop a pre-talk routine that helps you feel calm, focused, and confident whenever you take the stage.

Do you need helping dealing with nerves before your talks? I provide 1:1 coaching sessions and team workshops about speaking. Reach out to me to discuss what you're looking for.
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