She boldly takes the stage and in an instant your ears perk, you sit up a little straighter and you grab your notebook and pen or open your laptop to take copious notes. Your cell phone is at the ready because you’re certain you’ll want to take pictures of some of her presentation slides. Interestingly enough, you don’t even know who she is yet. She’s a substitute because the main keynote speaker came down with the flu. You may be wondering why you’re taking such a sudden interest, or you’re absolutely certain she’s an expert in her industry simply by her confident air. That may seem like a huge assumption, but in truth, it isn’t. While society seems to look at being judgmental as a negative, we all make judgments about people based on the visual voice they speak. What does your visual voice reflect to others? Self-confidence is a client-attraction superpower and the golden key to unlocking the positive impression we desire.
Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. Self-confident people tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren’t going well. Confident people have little time for self-pity and when faced with challenges, immediately challenge themselves to find solutions rather than wallowing in their problems.
Studies show that more than 70% of your first impression depends on your level of confidence. Your visual voice builds chemistry with prospective clients and audiences and helps you make connections. If you display self-confidence your prospects will be more inclined to respond to you. Bottom line, if you have two professionals with the same exact resume, the person who exudes the most confidence will get the job.
If you’re still not convinced, read on… A few months back, I attended a high-end business conference. The attendees were seasoned, successful business owners and the room was buzzing at about a 50% charge. Quite suddenly, there was a substantial increase in the buzz. While the conversation volume had not changed, there was a shift in the feel of the conference hall. As I turned to make my way to the lobby, I instantly knew what had changed. Standing by the entrance was a confident, 6’+, late-thirties, early-forties man smiling down at one of the attendees. He was neatly dressed in a mix of NJ business casual with a bit of earthy Arizona flair. While his stature could have been intimidating, he was warm, highly-energetic (like double-espresso shots), and fully engaged in conversation.
Once Michael and I met, I couldn’t help but ask him lots of case-study-type questions. I’m fascinated by people who reflect a captivating image and wanted to know if he had any strategies to share. I was ready to take detailed notes for an upcoming post, but as our conversation continued what became clear was the simplicity and success of his ‘strategy’… Michael said (and I paraphrase), “I’m just myself and don’t really give a sh!:t what people think!” BINGO Michael…it IS really simple!! Yes, he’s being himself, but more importantly… he’s CONFIDENTLY being himself. It was his confidence that amped up the charge in the room.
You may be asking yourself how YOU can gain this confidence. It comes from consistent practice, just like any other skill. Each of us struggles with insecurities. I am never really feeling on my game unless I have been practicing my confidence building blocks. If I’m not confident about myself, why should anyone else have confidence in me?
Here’s a checklist to boost your confidence every day:
✔︎ Daily meditation or quiet time: Each morning I take 10 minutes for meditation and prayer. I do it first thing…before I drink my protein shake, take my walk or open my email. This is my time to get centered and begin my day with intention. When I live from/with intention, I feel more grounded and confident about my activities and goals for the day.
✔︎ Careful planning and preparation: Looking the part is crucial to reflecting a powerful confidence factor. Dress the part of success. One of my favorite quotes is, “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” Consistently looking the part requires planning. Every Sunday I open my calendar, plan my outfits and neatly pack my business bag for each event or appointment. I choose my ensembles, make sure they’re pressed, and hang them as complete outfits so they’re ready to go in a snap. My business tote is always neatly stocked with plenty of business cards, tools of my trade and the fully charged electronics I’ll be needing. When I’m looking my best and carefully prepared, it’s a confidence booster like no other!
✔︎Know your value and values: Think of your happy customers (and smile). Those who can’t wait to sing your praises to others. Get clear on the value you offer your clients. What are the benefits of working with you? A great place to access the answer(s) is to take a look at the testimonials you’ve received. If you don’t have any in writing, now is the time to request them. If you provide personal chef services, you’re probably saving your clients time, money and nourishing their bodies with healthy food. Nobel benefits… making their lives better.
Now think about your values. Yes… your personal values. Why are you in business? What value(s) are the foundation of the products and/or services you offer. If you are a speaking coach, you may value clear and effective communication. But take that a step further. Was there a poignant time in your life when you didn’t feel heard? Is that why you’re so passionate about what you do? Use the depth of that passion or WHY to boost confidence in your own abilities! You know you’re making a difference. Have confidence in that!
✔︎ Set the mood: There’s an old computer science saying from the 80’s (OMG, I’m dating myself), “Garbage in, garbage out.” Feed your mind, body and psyche health and happiness. Whether it’s the food you’re eating, the people you hang out with, the book you’re reading or the podcast you’re listening to, when you surround yourself with positivity you’ll be more apt to emulate it. When you are thoughtful about your intake, you will exude more confidence and spread love, peace, and health everywhere you go. One of my favorite rituals is to listen to upbeat music or a podcast on my way to networking events or client meetings. My positive energy will enter the room before I even walk in.
✔︎ Smile: Smiling is a simple way to boost your mood, feel better, and can even make you a better leader. A warm smile shows others that you want to engage socially. It also makes you appear confident, approachable and willing to interact. As an expert or leader in your industry, smiling may be the key to your continued success. Research from The University of Montpellier discovered that smiling is a more effective leadership technique than having great management skills.
When you integrate these 5 practices into your everyday life you’ll strengthen your brand reputation, attract your right-fit clients, and deepen your relationships. You’ll also accelerate your sales conversions which will lead to increased revenue and profits. You’ll easily connect with decision makers who will hire you and/or create strategic alliances which will increase your visibility.
While each of these practices is essential to ‘amping your confidence factor’ which will, in turn, generate more sales, which one do YOU think is the most important and why?
21 years ago I founded a company called Your Success Style and during that time I’ve developed successful personal brands for some pretty cool people. I’ve been fortunate to work with some phenomenal organizations like Lexus, Nordstrom, Disney, LAPD, Kaiser Permanente and Caruso Affiliated. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Oscar and Golden Globe winners, too.
I help successful entrepreneurs, leaders and executives see themselves in their best light and create a personal brand that’s as unique and compelling as they are. I champion their strengths until they see them for themselves and have the confidence to own them. I LOVE stepping on a stage or in a boardroom and inspiring people to claim the best of who they are and take actions to foster who that person is!!
As a 5th generation entrepreneur, I believe in old-fashioned customer service and am deeply invested in the success of each client. My parents taught me that everyone wants to feel special and appreciated, not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do.