By ASU Online Brand Ambassador, Alicia Maudilee
There are many valuable skills that I have learned as an aspiring actor that I have been able to apply to my everyday life. Whether I am on camera, in a business meeting or using technology to speak to a fellow online student, acting has helped build my confidence. Regardless of the setting, acting requires an ability to speak openly and expressively to deliver believable dialogue. As an online master’s student through ASU, many of my assignments require me to submit a presentation, not just visually, but with a persuasive oral presentation to deliver a message.
My former acting and voice over classes provided me with an opportunity to practice speaking and engaging with others in a non-threatening environment. The professionals who I worked with me gave constructive feedback and always encouraged me. This went a long way in helping me to develop self-confidence and has, in turn, helped me excel at presentations like the ones required for my classes.
One way I boosted my own confidence was by taking risks. I was a shy child who was afraid to speak. I had to challenge myself to jump into a conversation, and I eventually became more comfortable talking to others.
Another way I built confidence was by setting goals with a “due date,” usually within one to 5 years. In fact, I still use this strategy.
I visually display my goals so I can see them daily. I will cut out words of inspiration or pictures, and then I place them on a vision board. This helps me to put the direction I need to pursue in perspective.
Posture is another area I had to develop poise in order to increase my confidence, as acting requires you to use your body and face as an extension of your performance. People read body language. Because of this, I had to learn to be aware of my positioning, as well as every movement I made. If I looked nervous, my audience could see this. If I smiled, they felt it. Becoming aware of my posture and physical presence took practice. I started reading out loud in front of a mirror. Then I would practice presenting to people that I knew I felt safe around, allowing them to critique my presentation and provide feedback.
Lastly, constructive criticism is helpful. We all like to be told we are perfect, but we all have areas that we can work on. Oftentimes, feedback is provided by instructors on our presentations. The input will only help us (and our own confidence!) down the line as we continue to present in front of others.
Reflecting on how I became more confident, I realize that self-confidence is built from experiencing small wins stacked on top of each other.
We're so excited to share Alicia’s story! Alicia is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Alicia so that you can follow along with her journey. To check out all her posts to date, visit Alicia’s Instagram, Twitter and website!
Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #LearnASULive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them!