Published on October 29th, 2012 | by thevyne2
Work Your Confidence
Having the title, the wardrobe, the statement shoe and the latest “it” bag may turn a few heads your way, but unshakeable confidence is what will ensure those heads listen to what you have to say, follow your lead, increase your scope of responsibility and/or recognize your talent. What’s that you say? You get nervous speaking in front of people? You’d prefer to be a “behind the scenes” person? Ladies, ladies, ladies… it was Marianne Williamson who said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” So let your light and your confidence shine. Here are a few tips to get you started or brush you up if you’re already working it:
Tip #1: Work Your Walk – How often are you walking with your head down and shoulders slumped? Or perhaps you don’t even think about your walk because you’re just concentrating on getting from point A to point B. Newsflash…everyone else is watching how you walk. How you walk when you enter a room or coast from meeting to meeting says something about your confidence. Posture is everything so shoulders back, chest up, chin up and take sure-footed, not too fast, strides.
Tip #2: Work Your Words – Confident people make confident, affirmative statements. Whether you’re speaking in a meeting, giving a presentation to a group, having a conversation with your boss or addressing a bill collector over the phone, know the content about which you’re speaking and say it with conviction. Instead of starting phrases with, “I hope to…” and “I think that..”, try just coming out with your statement. For example, instead of saying “I think that it would be great for us to try doing this XYZ way” try saying, “We should do it XYZ way”. Put yourself and your statement out there, using a self-assured tone, and then engage in discussion if others feel differently from you. Start from a place of conviction and then discuss from there.
Tip #3: Work Your Presence – Presence is that thing that makes people stop and stare when you first walk in a room. It’s this complicated matrix of influence, perception control, communication skill and charisma. The tip here is to practice these aspects of yourself and if you need guidance, think about the people in your life who exhibit these traits. The next time you see them, observe how they strike up conversation, how they smile when they communicate. Do they use their hands when they speak? How do they stand? Watch what they do and try to incorporate some of what they do into your own style of interacting.
Tip #4: Work Your Wardrobe – Manipulating your wardrobe is one of the quickest ways to infuse confidence into your brand. A structured jacket, a bold color or pattern, a tailored shirt, statement heels, the list goes on and on. Play with styles until you create the look that fits with who you are and who you are aspiring to be. If you need guidance, look for role models (real or on TV) and find pieces that they would wear. For example, we’re loving the character Olivia Pope’s style on ABC’s “Scandal.” Her outfits portray confident, young, classy style. Don’t forget your accessories too. A great watch, bag, tablet cover and a pen, all contribute to a cohesive, confident look.
Tip #5: Work Your Face – A smile goes a long way and so does a well placed straight face when the situation calls for it. Use your facial expressions to communicate resolve and strength when needed. Manage your emotions on the inside so that your face communicates only what you what to when you want it to. That means, watch out for the unconscious eye-rolling, deer in the headlights or furrowing your brow when someone says something you don’t like. Your face is a powerful tool…keep it manicured- buffed, puffed, plucked and made up! Use your expressions wisely and don’t be ashamed to practice in the mirror!