Journey to Confidence

A 12 week online program to help introverts speak to groups with confidence.

I’m delighted that you’re interested in joining Journey to Confidence.

You’re ready to let go of the fear that has held you back from achieving your goals and following your dreams.

I’m Olivia Mitchell, the creator of Journey to Confidence, and on this page I’ll cover all the information you need to make a decision about joining Journey to Confidence, including:

  • Who I designed Journey to Confidence for,
  • How Journey to Confidence will work,
  • The ‘sliding scale’ payment system for the program.

I’m excited about you joining Journey to Confidence. I can’t wait to start working with you and making a difference in your life.

I'm so sorry, Journey to Confidence is closed to new enrollments at the moment.

I will be opening it up again for a program starting in June.

Click on the button to put yourself on the waitlist to ensure you're one of the first to hear when I open it back up again.

Who I designed Journey to Confidence for

My blog, Speaking about Presenting, focuses on helping introverts with public speaking. My heart breaks a little every time I read comments like these:

“I become so nervous that I forget what I’m supposed to say next. I’m avoiding speaking opportunities that would help me in my career.”

“Whenever I start to speak, I go bright red. So now I don’t even speak up in meetings. I’ve got lots of good ideas, but nobody ever hears about them.”

“I fear sounding stupid or tripping over my words. I can feel my voice get shaky, then I rush to get the whole thing over with. If I could get over this I would have the confidence to do what is most important to me.”

If you could have written one of these comments, I designed Journey to Confidence for you.

The Big Idea behind Journey to Confidence

 Journey to Confidence is based on this central idea:

We don’t have a fear of public speaking.

We have a fear of disapproval.

Here’s a thought experiment:

If I could wave a magic wand and absolutely, without-a-doubt, guarantee that every person you spoke to would show their approval of you and everything you said…

…would you still feel fear?

There’s no such thing as the fear of public speaking. It’s the fear of disapproval.

In Journey to Confidence you’ll immunize yourself against that fear of disapproval.

You’ll take actions which expose you to the fear of disapproval. Your first action will be a tiny dose of the fear of disapproval. So tiny that it will fly under the radar of your fight or flight response.

Every day you’ll take an action (called your “Daily Action”), with each action gradually increasing in size, and so build up your immunity to the fear of disapproval.

I’m calling this the Disapproval Immunization Process (DIP). If you’re familiar with psychological strategies to help people overcome phobias, you’ll recognize the DIP as a form of systematic desensitization.

Over the 12 weeks of the program you’ll gradually reduce your nerves and build your confidence.

How Journey to Confidence will support you

I’ve designed Journey to Confidence to support you every step of the way.

1. A staged approach

Many people decide to change, fly into action, and then get discouraged and give up when they encounter setbacks.

A more effective method is to spend some time preparing yourself for the changes you want to make, so that you’re psychologically equipped for the inevitable obstacles you’ll encounter.

Journey to Confidence has two stages:

Seth Godin on Behavioral Change

“While you and I were busy running down dead ends and wasting our effort, scientists have been busy trying to figure out what actually works. And now they know.

Small steps work. Consistent effort works. Group support works.

That’s it. Three things.”    

Warm Up

You’ll complete a number of exercises that will strengthen your resolve to overcome your fear and prepare you for the Journey ahead.

The Journey

You’ll be taking small daily actions gradually building your immunity to disapproval and increasing your confidence.

2. Accountability

You’ll check in every day to the Journey to Confidence website (which will only be accessible by you and others on the program) and record your Daily Action. The website will chart the increasing size of your actions so that you can see your progress reducing your fear and building your confidence over the course of your Journey.

3. Small Group Support

At times you may feel scared or overwhelmed while you’re on your Journey to Confidence. That’s natural – you’re stepping out of your Comfort Zone. At those times, having people who empathize and encourage you can make all the difference to achieving a breakthrough.

You’ll be a part of a small online group of 8 to 12 people.  Your group will have your own private space on the  Journey to Confidence website. Each day when you check in, you’ll see how other members of your group are doing and you’ll offer them support and encouragement. They’ll do the same for you. I’ll be checking in every day too, and providing support and coaching.

4. Coaching Calls

Each week during the Journey, your group will have a Coaching Call with me where I will teach, support and coach you.

In the past, when you’ve stepped out of your Comfort Zone, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings. In the weekly Coaching Calls I’ll share skills to manage your thoughts and feelings, so that you can keep moving forward. We’ll cover:

Accepting your Emotions

Most of us have not been taught effective ways of managing our feelings.

Many people when faced with overwhelming feelings eat, drink, take drugs or find distractions (binge-watching netflix, workaholism). 

We’ll look at how to approach your feelings with acceptance and empathy. Your feelings won’t disappear, but they’ll no longer stop you doing things.

Handling your Thoughts

Over-thinking and ruminating can sabotage your efforts to speak up more.

Research has shown that positive thinking can be counter-productive, making you feel worse than you did before.

You’ll learn how to skillfully handle your thoughts so that they serve, rather than sabotage, you and your goals.

Revisiting your Past

You may have wounds from your past, when you were ridiculed or humiliated because of something you said.

You’ll review the meaning of these incidents from your current perspective.

Bringing these incidents into the light of today will give you a choice whether to let those incidents continue to influence your life.

5. A Coaching Call for Women, A Coaching Call for Men

I’ve taught presentation and public speaking skills for over 20 years and, over that time, I’ve realised that there are deeply entrenched issues related to our gender that influence how we express ourselves. So they’ll be two special Coaching Calls, one for women led by me and one for men led by Tony Burns. Tony is a psychologist and presentation skills trainer (as well as my business and life partner).

For women

Many of us have been conditioned to be nice, to be people-pleasers. As a result we often hold back on offering our ideas and opinions. And when we do speak, we soften the way we come across. Our clarity and power is compromised. In this call, we’ll be discussing these issues and how to overcome them in our lives.

For men

Tony says “For many men the issue of fear around speaking is embarrassing. We’ve been conditioned to be brave. Any acknowledgement of anxiety is considered weak. The stereotype of the strong, emotion-less male can lead us to hold back on our passion and enthusiasm.”

If you identify as non-binary, you are welcome to attend whichever call you relate to more. Or you can attend both.

What will you achieve by the end of Journey to Confidence?

Your Journey to Confidence will culminate  in you giving a presentation or speech.

You’ll do it with confidence – because after many weeks of taking action every day you’ll know that this is something you can do. 

Confidence

The belief that you have the ability to do a task.

However, right at the moment, the idea of doing a presentation or speech may freak you out. We’ll be working on reducing that “freaking out” feeling throughout the Journey. That’s exactly why you’re here.

You may also have concerns about organising the logistics for your presentation or speech, or what other people will think of you when you approach them to schedule your presentation. We’ll address all these issues as part of Journey to Confidence. 

Here are examples of different forms your presentation or speech might take:

  • Give a presentation to your team at work.
  • Join a public speaking club and deliver a speech.
  • Invite your family and friends to a gathering and deliver a speech.
  • Deliver a presentation on one of our Coaching Calls.
  • Video yourself giving a presentation and then upload it to the Journey to Confidence website. 
  • Do a Facebook Live video to your family and friends, or to followers of your Facebook business page.

I will coach you on your choice to ensure that it is a sufficient stretch for you, without freaking you out.

Plan your presentation using Nail that Presentation

To prepare your presentation, you’ll have access to Nail that Presentation –  our self-paced video-based program where we teach you how to use the SpeakerMap™ to plan an effective and engaging presentation. It’s our flagship program that we usually sell for $297.

Nail that Presentation will take you through every aspect of planning your presentation from how you’ll open it, what you’ll say, how you’ll organise what you say, what examples and stories to use, and how you’ll close.

 

I started to feel less nervous and more confident as soon as I started doing the program, and at every step I felt better about it until I was actually excited about doing this presentation.

The presentation went better than I ever could have imagined. From before the start to way past Q&A. Everything flowed. 

Olivia and Tony are phenomenal teachers. Nail that Presentation is the fastest, most informative & easiest to follow (AND absorb) course I have ever taken.

Katcha Bilek

Designer of ethical fashion accessories

Nail that Presentation gave me a whole new level of confidence.

Going through the program improved the logic, flow and clarity of my presentation.

I’ve never had so much positive feedback from any presentation. People just kept coming up to me saying “That was a fantastic presentation” and “That was the best presentation I’ve ever heard”.

I can just see myself using the SpeakerMap again and again.

John Faisandier

Director, Thriving under Fire

What will Journey to Confidence mean for you?

What will your new-found confidence mean for you? Perhaps it will mean that you can:

  • apply for the job or promotion that you’ve always wanted
  • take on leadership opportunities in your work or community
  • do more meaningful work
  • make an impact in the world by sharing your ideas
  • promote your business or social enterprise by speaking.

Who this Journey is not for

Journey to Confidence is not for you if you suspect that your fear around speaking up relates to abuse or trauma that you have suffered in the past.

If this is the case, then you’ll be better served by working with a mental health professional. Journey to Confidence cannot provide the level of support that you might need, both because I’m not a mental health professional and this is an online course without one-on-one, face-to-face support.

If this is the case, I wish you the best and maybe once you have worked with a mental health professional and experienced some healing, you can join a future Journey to Confidence program.

You can join Journey to Confidence if you’re currently seeing a counselor, therapist or other mental health professional as long as they support your participation. Send them the link to this page so they understand the program. I will ask for written confirmation (eg: an email) of their support for your participation.

Your Commitment

Because Journey to Confidence will involve some discomfort, I want you to make a commitment to yourself to do whatever it takes to get over, through or under your fear of speaking up and public speaking.

 

1. Commit your Time

“Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life”

Susan David 
Author of Emotional Agility and TED speaker

Warm Up

Warm Up begins on 12th March and lasts for 2 weeks. There will be a number of reflective exercises for you to complete before the Journey starts on 26th March. Allow up to 4 hours to complete the exercises over the 2 week period.

The Journey

The Journey begins on 26th March and lasts 10 weeks. Allow one hour per week for the Coaching Calls, and 15 minutes per day for your Daily Action and checking into the website. You’ll also need some time for planning your presentation.

2. Commit to your Daily Action

During the Journey, you’ll be taking a Daily Action. Much of the time, this action will fit into your daily routine. That is, it won’t take you any extra time.

3. Commit Money

I’m asking you to make a financial commitment because it’s a way of having “skin in the game”, and because this is my livelihood.

At the same time I want this program to be affordable for everyone who is committed to it.

So I’m experimenting with a “sliding scale” method of payment. This means that what you pay is related to what you can afford.

The costs are adjusted to reflect that this is the first time that I am offering this program (the cost will go up next time I offer it).

I trust you to choose the payment tier that is right for you – I’m not going to ask you to prove it.

You can choose to split your payment into three equal payments, which will be charged once a month for three months.

You can also choose to pay more to support those who are only able to pay less.

Cost of Journey to Confidence

If you’re not paying for it yourself eg: your employer is paying: US$500

If you’re paying for yourself, here are the suggested tiers based on your household income:

I'm so sorry, Journey to Confidence is closed to new enrollments at the moment.

I will be opening it up again for a program starting in June.

Click on the button to put yourself on the waitlist to ensure you're one of the first to hear when I open it back up again.

On the rest of this page you’ll find:

  • the reason why I’m so passionate about the Journey to Confidence program.
  • a big collection of FAQs – I’ve answered all the questions I could think of. If there’s something I haven’t answered, email olivia@speakingaboutpresenting.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

My Big Why

If you’re new here, the snazzy bed background is because my bedroom has become my office, while I recover from an accident.

I’m an introvert. And for the first half of my life I was shy as well.

It’s made such a difference in my life to be able to speak up more, to express myself and what’s important to me – to my family and friends, and in my work. Sometimes that’s been one-on-one, other times, speaking to groups.

I’m still a work in progress, working on expressing myself more, particularly when it comes to controversial issues, or when I am concerned I’ll disappoint someone.

Being able to express yourself when it matters is a core part of living a meaningful life. I want to give that gift to you too.

And it’s important for humanity.

We need to be able to speak up when we see something happening that seems wrong. For example, in your workplace, speaking up when a colleague makes a joke that disparages a minority.

We need to be able to speak up to be the voice for what needs to change in our society, whether that’s action on climate change, racial justice, or sexual harassment.

We need our voices in the world. We need your voice in the world. My dream is that no one is held back from speaking their truth by their own inner psychological fear.

This is why I do what I do.

Still got questions?

Is Journey to Confidence right for me?

I get extremely anxious about speaking. Will Journey to Confidence help me?

The important distinction is how you’re feeling about your anxiety.

If you’re feeling determined to make some changes in your life, so that your anxiety is less of a problem, then Journey to Confidence can help you.

However, if you feel depressed or ashamed about your anxiety, then it would be better for you to see a mental health professional for one-on-one support.

I'm currently seeing a counselor or therapist. Should I do Journey to Confidence?

You can do Journey to Confidence if you’re currently seeing a counselor, therapist or other mental health professional and they support your participation. Send them the link to this page so they understand the program. I will ask for written confirmation (eg: an email) of their support for your participation.

I've suffered serious abuse as a result of speaking up. Will Journey to Confidence help me?

If you’ve suffered serious abuse or assault, then the support available in Journey to Confidence is unlikely to be enough. This is because it is:

  • A group program without one-on-one support
  • I am not a professional therapist and so am not equipped to handle issues which might come up for you.

I recommend that you find a therapist for professional one-on-one support.

I'm an extrovert. Can I join Journey to Confidence?

Yes, you’re very welcome.

I’m aware that extroverts suffer from the fear of public speaking too. I wanted to create a program that particularly catered to introverts, but it will work for you too.

I have a packed schedule and lots of commitments, so I'm not sure I've got enough time. Should I do it?

It depends on how important it is to you. I know this sounds trite, but we make time for what’s important to us.

We also sometimes use time as an excuse to not face our fears. If you’ve decided as you read this page that you really want to do the program, make a commitment to yourself now that you will make the time.

I really want to do Journey to Confidence, but I'll be on holiday for 'x' weeks during the program. What do you think?

If you’re away for a week or less, that will be fine. 

More than a week, and you would miss out on too much, and it wouldn’t be fair on your fellow group members (giving support to each other is an integral part of the program). You can choose to do the program later.

I've got a work conference in the middle of the program. Do you think that will work?

A conference is an ideal place for taking many of the Daily Actions. So long as you can commit to doing your Daily Action and checking into the Journey to Confidence site every day, you’ll be fine.

You might miss the Coaching Call that week, but you can listen to the replay.

I have a friend/daughter/son who would benefit so much from joining Journey to Confidence. Can I enroll them?

I love your generosity and wanting the best for your friend/daughter/son.

But it’s really important that each person makes their own decision to join. Send them the link to this page and if they get excited and say they’d love to do it, then offer to pay for them.

English is my second (or third or fourth) language. Will I be able to keep up with Journey to Confidence?

Yes, if you can understand all the information on this page. 

There are two sides to communicating in a language – understanding and expressing yourself.

It’s important that you can understand what I’m saying. It’s less important that you can express yourself perfectly.

You can do all the Daily Actions and the presentation that you’ll deliver towards the end of Journey to Confidence, in your mother tongue.

About the Program

What science is Journey to Confidence based on?

I attempt to ensure that everything I offer is evidence-based.

I have drawn from Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for strategies for dealing with fear.

Many of the structural aspects of the program and the warm-up exercises in particular are based on research on effective behavioral change as summarised by John C Norcross in his book, Changeology.

The software we’re using was developed by Gina Hiatt, a clinical psychologist, building on psychological principles for behavior change.

Why do you not have any testimonials for the program?

This is the first time that I have run this program. I’ve run face to face presentation courses for 20 years and coached people one-on-one, but don’t want to use testimonials that I’ve gathered through that work, for this program. The cost of Journey to Confidence reflects that it’s the first time that I have run it.

Will I have to do anything I don't want to do?

No, you will never have to do anything.

You will choose all your Daily Actions. I will have lots of suggestions for you to choose from and your fellow members will probably come up with many more. But it will always be up to you.

You may surprise yourself at the Daily Actions you choose to do as you go through the program.

Neither do you have to give a presentation or speech at the end of Journey to Confidence. But if you’re not willing to head towards that goal, then you’re probably not ready to join Journey to Confidence. Journey to Confidence will be here for you when you’re ready.

How many people will there be in Journey to Confidence?

There will be a maximum of 24 members. 

However, we’ll have two small groups, so you’ll be a member of a group of up to 12 people. This will be your support group. You’ll get to know each other well over the course of the program.

Gina Hiatt, the developer of the software that makes all this possible, has been running small groups like this for almost 10 years and has found this the ideal number for a small group.

What support will I get from you?

I will be available at some point every day for support via chat (take into account that I live in New Zealand, so our time zones may be different).

On our Coaching Calls, I will provide coaching support.

I won’t have the ability to provide one-on-one coaching support.

Will I have access to the content of the program after it's finished?

You will have access to the program content for as long as the program is available. If for any reason, I am no longer to provide access to the program content, I will let you know so that you can download the program content.

What qualifications do you have for running the program?

I overcame my own fear of public speaking when I was in my early 30s.

I’ve been helping people overcome stage fright for the last 20 years.

This has been both through one-on-one coaching and during face to face presentation training courses.

Logistics of Journey to Confidence

When does Journey to Confidence start?

The Warm Up phase of Journey to Confidence starts on 12th March.

The Journey itself begins on 26th March. 

How long is Journey to Confidence?

Journey to Confidence is 12 weeks long. It starts on 12th March and ends on 1st June.

How much time should I put aside each week for Journey to Confidence?

For the 2 weeks of the Warm Up phase allows up to 4 hours in total.

During the Journey you’ll need to put aside 1 hour per week for the Coaching Calls (attend live if you can or listen to the replay), and 15 minutes every day for checking into the Journey to Confidence site and taking your Daily Action. Much of the time you’ll be able to incorporate your Daily Action into your normal routine, so it won’t take any extra time.

When will the Coaching Calls be?

I will schedule the weekly group Coaching Calls so that as many people as possible can attend live.

If necessary I will do two Coaching Calls each week in different time zones, to give you more options for attending live.

When will the Call for Women and the Call for Men be?

These are the calls that we’ll be holding to discuss the different issues that women and men face when speaking up and public speaking. We’ll schedule these about halfway through Journey to Confidence. They will be replays available if you’re unable to attend live.

What technology do I need for Journey to Confidence?

You’ll need to have access to the internet most days so that you can check into the Journey to Confidence website.

You’ll need a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer with internet access to take part in the weekly Coaching Calls. If you’re using a laptop or desktop, you’ll need a webcam and microphone (these are often built in). The Coaching Calls and the Call for Women, and the Call for Men will use Zoom meeting software.

If you don’t have access to the internet at the time of the Coaching Calls, you may be able to join the call using a telephone. We’ll be using Zoom and they have telephone numbers available for most countries.

What if I can't continue because of sickness etc

Sometimes life happens (you or a family member gets sick or injured) and you can’t continue the program. You can join the next program that I run at no extra cost.

Or if we’re less than 6 weeks into the program, you can choose a full refund (of course, if you do this, you’ll need to pay again if you want to join the program at another time).

The Finances

Do you offer a refund?

Yes, I understand that something may happen and you can’t continue the program. Or you may start and decide it’s not for you. I will give you a full refund up to 6 weeks (half-way through) into the program.

If you have to withdraw after 6 weeks, you can join the next program that I run at no extra cost.

Do you offer a guarantee that this will work for me?

I’ve decided not to offer a guarantee for this program. This is because this is deeply personal work and I cannot give you a guarantee of a particular outcome.

What I can promise is that I’ve done the best that I can in designing a program that will give you the opportunity to grow in confidence around speaking up and speaking to groups. And I will support and encourage you on your Journey.

Why is the price so low?

The price is low because this is the first time that I am offering this program, so it’s not tested and I may tweak things along the way.

When I next offer Journey to Confidence the price is likely to be US$1,000.

I’m going to see how the sliding scale method of payment works before deciding to repeat it.

I'm so sorry, Journey to Confidence is closed to new enrollments at the moment.

I will be opening it up again for a program starting in June.

Click on the button to put yourself on the waitlist to ensure you're one of the first to hear when I open it back up again.

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