Sometimes it’s worthwhile to explore what something IS NOT to help us get a better understanding of WHAT IS.
Let’s be clear about what Confidence IS NOT:
Confidence is not clothing
Confidence is not wealth
Confidence is not your employment position
Confidence is not an age
Confidence is a matter of degree – it’s not something you either have or not – you are somewhere on a scale ranging from the very negative to the very positive – from low confidence to high confidence.
Right now you are somewhere on the scale of zero to one hundred. Where do you feel you are on that scale, right now, today?
Now take a moment to ask yourself whether it might be profitable, worthwhile, desirable to move up the scale – to move in the direction of a more accurate, more valid, more honest appraisal of the real worth, value and talents you have?
Say YES if this sound like something you want. Go ahead, say it out loud to yourself, right now…YES!
Today we are going to start some exercises that will do just that – some simple techniques and methods you can put into action right away which will move you up the scale, in a more confident direction:
1 – Three Part First Impression
2 – Focus on your Strengths
3 – Practice Power Poses
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a bad handshake?
Handshakes have been around since the beginning of time – so how can so many people get something so simple so wrong?
You may think this is insignificant, until you start asking around – as I did – and you will find out, not only how many of us have experienced a bad handshake, but more importantly, how long we remember those “bad” handshakes.
In an instant, we are making an impression that has a very long shelf life. So, what kind of impression are you making?
*the Controller – palm down asserting your dominance
*the Limp Finger – no authority or decision making power
*the Dead Fish – damp, clammy, screaming I’m nervous
*the Sandwich – the hug of handshakes – intimate – not to be done with strangers…it’s creepy
* the Bone Crusher – see you coming across the room, swinging down like a claw then the vice grip – insecure
Even if the above are not your story, it is important for you to understand the story behind the handshake of the person with whom you are about to communicate, interact or meet.
The Perfect Balance
- reach out with palm slightly up
- make eye contact…straighten out the hand
- full palm contact with wrapped fingers
- firm grip
- gentle up and down
- hold for three seconds
This one simple action – shaking hands with purpose and awareness – will boost you up on the confidence scale for two reasons:
- knowing you have a confident handshake – makes you feel more confident
- you now have insight into the person with whom you are about to meet. This will help you communicate more effectively – knowledge fuels confidence
Say “Hello” First
When you are the first one to initiate communication, you are instantly viewed as more confident. It’s just that simple.
And, whenever a name is easily displayed for you to see it…use it. In the grocery store, at the coffee shop, the restaurant, clothing store…the networking lunch.
Compliment Whenever you Can
Find a genuine compliment you can give others as you interact with people throughout your day.
Clothes, hair, eyes, smile, efficiency, speed, friendliness…
Remember, compliments don’t always have to be verbal – a warm smile can be a beautiful compliment that can brighten up anyone’s day. –
Compliments need to be a part of your everyday communication.
It raises the vibrations all around you. Confidence hovers above ground level. When you genuinely compliment someone you both rise to a new height.
Start spending your time looking for ways to compliment others; constantly looking for what’s good, and you will start living in a more positive, confident place in your world.
As you go out in the world today put this to the test:
*shake hands with purposeful awareness
*say ‘hello’ first with everyone you come in contact with and
compliment others whenever you can
*notice how it makes you feel and how it makes the people you
meet today behave towards you.
Focus on Your Strengths
Our second confidence exercise is about learning to practise focusing on our strengths.
Draw a line down the middle of a page. On the left side I want you to write down your speaking skills which are already your “Greats”.
Look at those skills, take them in, feel them, smile at your greatness. Now, with that feeling going on inside – on the right side write down the skills you want to “Be Better”. Keep smiling while you write them down, keep the good feeling going on.
Confidence craves progress – It does not aspire for perfection.
The trick here is to be specific so you know exactly, what you are wanting to improve.
When your “Be Betters” become “Greats” move them over to the the left and give yourself room for more “Be Betters”.
This is a continually revolving list exchange.
Take notice which word is not on this list “BAD”
There is no bad – only “Greats” and “Betters”.
Confidence Power Pose
The third part of our confidence exercise routine involves power poses.
I’m sure you and most others are now familiar with what power poses can do for you. Amy Cuddy did a great job of spreading the word around in her TED Talk with more than 39 million views, as of February…last year…as of last month it’s at about 46 million views. There are mountains of research saying power poses reduces anxiety, improves your ability to deal with stress and boosts your confidence.
They increase your testosterone…decrease you cortisol.
I do them all the time…do you? If no…why not?
It’s one of the easiest, most convenient, readily available confidence boosters you will ever use.
I think there should be Booster Booths on every corner so you could just hop in, strike a few poses, get that confidence boost, and off you go to enjoy the rest of your fantastic day.
These three daily exercises:
1. First impression routine – confident handshake
– say ‘hello’ first
– genuinely compliment others
2. Focusing on your strengths – Be specific!
3. Power Pose yourself as many times a day as you can
Incorporate these simple exercises into your daily routine and enjoy sliding up the confidence scale.
Public speaking is not a passive sport.
It is a high-powered performance sport!
Race day is the moment you step onto your platform, wherever that may be – the boardroom – the podium – the stage – the classroom.
Like all athletes, you need a daily workout routine to keep yourself in shape for race day.
I like to call it ‘Stage Presence Bootcamp’. It’s the same as training for a triathlon but instead of swimming, biking and running your workout strengthens your confidence, charisma and connection to your listeners.
Why is this important?
“90% of how well a talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” Somers White, CAPE Speaker Hall of Fame
He’s talking about Stage Presence Preparation. The written speech/presentation is one dimensional. When it’s race day and you step onto your platform, you need to be ready to lift those words off the page, bring them to life, in a multi dimensional performance.
This takes practice – daily practice.
Confidence and Charisma are your Performance Legs. Each one needs daily exercise to become strong enough to hold up the platform where your connection to your listeners comes alive.
In the next three Blogs you will find out how to exercise each one of those legs in order to create a firm foundation for your connection platform.