More share buttons
Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends

Build Your Skills

How to get over ‘Impostor Syndrome’ when you’re presenting

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


Everybody with a soul feels like an impostor sometimes. Even really confident and experienced people, never mind those of us with less experience, at earlier stages in our careers. Knowing how to get over ‘Impostor Syndrome’ in when you’re presenting, and generally in work and life is a great strength to develop. Here’s how:

Ever felt like a ‘fraud’ at work, especially when tasked with a presentation, despite your proven abilities? You’re not alone. This feeling, known as ‘Impostor Syndrome’, is common among all kinds of people. But guess what? It can actually be your secret weapon for personal and professional growth. Let’s dive into how embracing these feelings can enhance your performance, particularly in presentations.

Understand Impostor Syndrome:
It’s easy to label Impostor Syndrome as a sign of weakness. It isn’t; it’s a reflection of your self-awareness and that’s a good thing. You might be an accomplished professional, a high-achieving athlete, a creative soul, or recently promoted out of your comfort zone. Yet, you doubt your abilities, fearing exposure as a ‘fraud.’ Don’t worry. This is a normal psychological pattern, especially in high-stakes situations.

Flip Doubt into Growth:
Self-Awareness: Your Emotional Intelligence Tool:
Feeling like an impostor often stems from a heightened self-awareness. This awareness is a key aspect of emotional intelligence, crucial in understanding your impact on others during presentations.

Use it to drive your Learning: 
The doubt associated with Impostor Syndrome can be a catalyst for your learning and growth. If you’re due to give a big presentation, you’re right to be asking yourself if you’re ready. Even the best presenters hone their presentation preparation, design and skills regularly. Because they’re professional.

Acknowledge being under prepared: Your Cue to get to work:
If you feel underprepared for a presentation, you probably are. Get back to your process and use this as a motivator to make sure you do everyhting you can to make the most of the opportunity. Winging it is never really the best available option. Follow this checklist to make sure you’re on plan.

Balance your Introspection:
While self-reflection is valuable, during presentations, focus outwardly, on the audience. Engage with your audience, understand their perspectives, and help them. It’s not all about you, and focusing on them will stop you thinking about yourself.

5. Practical Tips: to help you manage Impostor Syndrome if it strikes you: 

  • Acknowledge the feeling:
    Understand that these feelings are common. Recognizing them is the first step to overcoming them.
  • Talk to people:
    Share your experiences with mentors or peers. Often, you’ll find they’ve felt the same way and can offer valuable insights.
  • Reframe Your Thinking:
    Challenge your negative thoughts. Remember, your success so far is not just luck; it’s the result of your hard work and skill. Talk positively to yourself.
  • Celebrate Your Achievements:
    Keep a record of your successes and positive feedback, especially related to your presentations so you’re building up a bank of experience. And remember that real confidence is based on experience. So put all your successes and small lessons to learn down to experience.
  • Learn:
    You haven’t ‘failed’ even if it’s gone badly. Own the good stuff, and fix the things that didn’t go so well for next time. That’s building your resilience and confidence in credible ways.

Impostor Syndrome is as part of being an intelligent and emotionally intelligent person. Especially in a professional setting where you’re constantly pushing your boundaries and learning new things. Train yourself to see that occasional ‘Impostor’ thought as an opportunity for continuous growth and development. Embrace it, especially when preparing for and delivering presentations. Here’s a short video that adds an extra perspective to our theme.

This shift in perspective can be your key to a more confident and effective professional life.

Join our community:
Ready to turn your Impostor Syndrome into a stepping stone for success? Connect with us for more insights on building confidence and skill as a presenter. It’s FREE and we’d love to have you on board.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is a serial entrepreneur and the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps international and FTSE 100 companies sell themselves, and their products more effectively. Jim has many years of experience speechwriting, presentation coaching and motivational speaking, all over the world.
Jim Harvey
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

To Top