Confidence for beginners (live tweets)

Is your shyness or lack of self-belief holding you back? Impact coach Susie Hall offers advice on communicating with confidence. Live tweets from FuelRCA's workshop held on 24 November 2014 at the Royal College of Art, London.

  1. 'Confidence for beginners' - Impact coach Susie Hall will offer tools to tackle your shyness so you can make an impact. Starts at 6.30pm.
  2. Susie is an 'Impact Coach' and for the last 20 years, she has been helping clients with pitching, presenting, personal impact and brand
  3. Tonight Susie will encourage a Q&A format, some participants have already sent in their questions for Susie. What can Susie help you with?
  4. How many of you have to do presentations? Everyone!
  5. What are the challenges you come across?
  6. Even when you are asking someone for a date, you are pitching!
  7. What approach should I take when speaking to people at a trade show? I find it hard to approach people who are looking at my work.
  8. S: Keep yourself at a slight distance, but still show that you are engaged. Maybe ask a general question, ie, what brings you here tonight?
  9. This isn't being pushing, rather it is a conversation starter. Have a think of some general questions you can use.
  10. How should you react to negative comments? Are you suppose to defend yourself, smile, nod along...?
  11. If someone is deliberately provocative, the last thing you want to do is fuel the fire. Ask a question back.
  12. Consider if the criticism is justified. Taking criticism gracefully is a great skill. Push back, but don't be defensive. Don't get emotional
  13. How do you take a complement without pushing it away?
  14. Say thank you. Be assertive. It can be quite insulting if you throw it back. Be graceful though.
  15. How do you tell the difference between complements and sarcasm?
  16. Susie would still thank them! Sarcasm is a tool used by British people when they are being indirect! So is humour.
  17. How to choose the right audience and how to pitch?
  18. Always need to know the audience, why they are there, before you can structure the presentation or pitch.
  19. Should we keep observing their response?
  20. Body language, ask them 'how do you feel about that'? Get their opinions.
  21. Service designers trying to pitch big picture, but sometimes it's difficult to pitch to public.
  22. Questions to address when thinking about a pitch:
  23. 1. What is my product/service/idea/cause?
  24. 2. What problem do I solve? What demand do I meet?
  25. Example: pitching an art fund. This creates value. This is the problem it solves
  26. 3. How are you different? What is your unique selling point?
  27. These four questions are important to cover. Don't give too much info without going back to these core questions.
  28. Message map: If you had 140 characters, what is the one single most important thing you want people to know?
  29. Now come up with 3 benefits, and give these success stories, facts, statistics, examples. This is a good model to lay out what you do.
  30. Do you think principle applies to art world?
  31. Yes. Still dealing with human beings. If you can give examples, that is compelling. The power of someone else buying it.
  32. With a gallery, these questions may be more disguised. The principles of these questions apply.
  33. Confidence: what do you do when you go blank? When you have everything prepared but it vanishes?
  34. 1. Don't ever do a presentation without the support of notes. Have triggers for your brain. Even Steve Jobbs used bullet points.
  35. Silence. One of the most powerful presentation skills you all have is silence.
  36. Get comfortable with silence. Pace is an issue when you are nervous. Split this into 2.
  37. 1. Rate of ideas presentation: the amount of content coming out. 2. Rate of word delivery: how quickly you speak.
  38. Different dialects and different nationalities have different rates of word delivery. NEVER slow down your rate of word delivery.
  39. What needs to slow down is your rate of idea. Do this with the 'did you get that' pause.
  40. The pause after you've said something gives message punch. Politicians, comedians, all have mastered the pause.
  41. Volunteer - asked to read out first two paragraphs. Now do it again, but stretch out the pauses, look up at the audience.
  42. See if you can feel the difference. Any thoughts? Observations?
  43. The pause allows the point to hang in the air. You are saying non-verbally, have you got that. Combining this with eye contact is powerful.
  44. Eye contact should not be scanning, but try, at the end of every sentence making eye contact with individual members of the audience.
  45. Don't talk AT the audience, but TO the audience.
  46. The thinking pause: when you are standing in front of an audience, a pause seems like a very long time.
  47. If you can just stop, it makes you look immensely confident. Use the pause to think about what you are going to say next.
  48. You can stretch out the pause. Stretch it out until it feels really weird, then you've probably got it about right. Breathing helps!
  49. How do you control your breathing and trembling voice? Don't be afraid to use the pause to breathe.
  50. The more energy you have from breath, the more confident you sound.
  51. How to build confidence: what does your inner critic say?
  52. The inner critic can be a very powerful saboteur. Start recognizing this critic, replace it with self affirmation.
  53. Confidence comes from Latin confidere, 'to trust'
  54. Does anyone have an affirmation? Yes, this isn't the first time I've done this. People have actually bought my products and love them
  55. Your inner mantra is only for you. If you believe it, they will believe it. If you don't think its amazing, they won't
  56. If you have doubts, it will seep out of every pore.
  57. Vocabulary: avoid overuse of maybe, might, perhaps, hopefully... Increase the intensity of your language: will, crucial, we must...
  58. Really think about how you describe what you do.
  59. Is there a cultural difference? In the UK we use a lot of maybes...
  60. Don't undersell or underplay yourself. Use language which is evocative, more emotionally engaging.
  61. Steve Jobs has described the MacBook as 'gorgeous'
  62. 'I am totally committed' 'I'm absolutely invested in this'...language is really important when you are trying to make key points.
  63. Where is the threshold between being too big headed and underplaying yourself?
  64. You can use other people: 'people have told me, this is really good', 'I'm really proud of this', 'I'm very committed'...
  65. How would you introduce credentials without sounding like you are reeling things off, or showing off?
  66. 'whilst I was at the Royal College, I did this...'
  67. Brain: Right side: creative. Left side: analytical. Most memorable and compelling is on the right.
  68. The power of recall on the right side of the brain is much higher than left. Think about how to make things memorable and compelling.
  69. So what? Make sure you state the benefits, rather than reeling off the credentials. What's in it for them?
  70. As if principle: if you were confident, how would you be? Amy Cuddy is a sociologist at Harvard on the As If principle. (see Ted talks)
  71. Chain of causation between mind body body mind.
  72. Experiments changing mind through physiology. Power postures. Getting yourself in a powerful body position has a big effect on mind.
  73. Hands in the air: pride. It is hard to be impactful if you are slumped and small. Be big, be tall.
  74. When you are presenting, ground yourself. Don't do anything that's distracting, it shows you are nervous. Take your distractions away.
  75. Be solid. Express yourself. Body language helps you express.
  76. Find your natural resting position for your hands.
  77. Don't do anything that's unnatural for you. Do what feels confident for you. It should be authentic to you.
  78. People's opinions are very different. As long as you love and see the value in what you do, you are building a brand.
  79. Have confidence in your brand. Success stories are like third part endorsements.
  80. Buy yourself time...'that's a really interesting question'...take a sip of water... or be honest 'I'm going to have to think about that'
  81. If you don't know, you are much better off being honest. If you aren't sure of the question, ask for it to be clarified.
  82. How can you have the confidence to say no? Explain why...I can't modify it because I am proud of it in this state...
  83. Be very clear at the beginning. If the client wants to change something about the product, make sure them understand the implications.
  84. Be ready, work out how flexible you can be before the meeting. If it comes up in the meeting, you can go back to the client, take a pause.
  85. How does thinking and talking in a different language effect confidence, and how can I address that?
  86. Sometimes in group discussions it is difficult when people are very quick.
  87. Use the thinking pause. State that this isn't your first language. And ask yourself, is it just in your head? Does it manifest itself?
  88. Dont force it. The worse thing you can do is start a presentation with a joke. Use humour very naturally. There are other ways of connecting
  89. Interesting vs. Interested. The power and the memorable is all in the interested. Be interested, rather than trying to be interesting.
  90. We are all very good at eye contact when we are listening. But it is harder when we are talking. ENGAGE!
  91. When you do talk to someone, be present, make that person the centre of your universe.
  92. We can make 10 decisions about someone in the first 7 seconds.
  93. Uses comparison between Bush and Clinton to distinguish between the 'interesting' and the 'interested' pitch.