FFA New Horizons caught up with the 2017-18 National FFA Officer Team to ask about confidence.
Q: Being a national officer requires confidence. After all, you meet with members from across the country, give many presentations, and represent the entire organization around the globe.
What are your tips for developing confidence regardless of the situation?
Set goals! As a shy freshman, my chapter advisor and I developed a set of goals for meeting other people. For example, if I was attending a leadership conference, Mrs. Freeman would make it a priority for me to meet three people. Not just meet them, but know their name, chapter, and a fun fact or two. After the event, she would have me recite them back to her. These gradual steps helped boost my confidence.
– Breanna Holbert, National FFA President
I’ve found that having a phrase I can hold onto helps. For me, it’s “Never perfect, strive for excellence.” Knowing I’ll never reach perfection has given me the confidence to go forth with the strengths and gifts I have been given. Whether meeting a group of people for the first time or giving a keynote speech, saying this phrase to myself reminds me to pursue the opportunity with clear eyes and a full heart.
– Erica Baier, National FFA Secretary
For me, confidence is all about preparation. I’ve never been nervous going into something that I felt fully prepared to do. Obviously, you can’t be prepared for everything, and in those situations I always remind myself to slow down and think it through. A few deep breaths go a long way to boost my confidence.
– Ian Bennett, Southern Region Vice President
Developing confidence takes patience, consistency and time. Although we wish to become self-confident overnight, it’s often the result of small things that add up to a significant change. We can start building our confidence by stepping out of our comfort zones at school, being outgoing at an FFA event, or by simply making a new friend. Each of us can take these small steps to better raise our self-confidence, no matter the situation!
– Piper Merritt, Central Region Vice President
I always try to take a deep breath, collect my thoughts, and just do it! I can get caught up in my own nerves, but recently I heard a podcast about the “5 Second Rule.” If there is something you want to do, count down from five and go for it! I also have to be true to myself and remember my purpose is serving others in all I do.
– Gracie Furnish, Eastern Region Vice President
Confidence is certainly key in many situations. To help myself feel more comfortable in front of groups of all sizes, I tend to allow my personality to shine through in the words I say. If you’re speaking from the heart, it’s hard to worry about being on stage.