I love it when awesome people present the best version of themselves. And I love it when people step up, outside their comfort zone, and SPEAK UP. Brilliant.
However, I have seen some situations that have disappointed me: people who have stepped up to speak, but have let themselves down by not looking confident when they speak, even though the content is good. When we speak, we need to make it as easy as possible for other people to engage with us, and to understand what we are saying. If we have weak body language, when we are speaking about something, or a weak voice, it confuses the audience. We don’t come across as credible.
In my latest podcast I share examples of when awesome people have stepped up, but who have sabotaged their message by presenting in a weak way.
Here are three examples:
An industry initiative meant that a number of future leaders and inspirational candidates were chosen to have mentoring by successful people in the industry for the year. I attended the ‘graduation’ at the end of the year to celebrate their successes. In every case, the candidates got up and weakly told us, the audience, their experiences. Their body language was closed, weak voices (even though they had microphones). Had I not known they were chosen from over 300 candidates I would have thought they were not particularly promising. And the dreadful thing was that apparently they had received speaking training from someone who spoke at the event – and let’s say was not a role model for public speaking. Their presentation of themselves let them down which was a shame.
Recently a newly pushed women’s business group posted a presentation from two of the organisers of an event. This organisation is providing training for women to be leaders; it has endorsements from seriously successful women who are supporting the initiative and delivering some training. I was therefore surprised to see two young women, sat down, arms and legs crossed, with whiny voices telling us about the event. Gosh! This was in complete contrast to the image and goals of the organisation, since how they presented themselves contradicted this.
And a certain president’s daughter brought out a book last year. The content was on being confident, brave, following your dreams. The usual stuff. The book cover image contradicted this content; she was sat with her arms folded defensively and her legs double crossed (also crossed at the ankles). If there was any pose that told you she was ‘apologetic’, ‘defensive’, lacking confidence’, ‘showing she’s a fraud’ and other negative connotations. WHY??? She lost credibility as a result.
My message to you, readers is to be really aware of how you present yourself, particularly if your message is a strong one. Spend some time practicing in front of a mirror and be self critical. What am I presenting if I look awkward??? This is the sort of work I do in the Power Hour
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