How confident are you?

I haven’t got much left these days. I’m talking about my hair, and those of you who have met me, will probably agree.

And in agreement was my wife who convinced me to buy some hair clippers rather than pay the barbers £10 a time to run clippers though my hair.

“I can do that.” She exclaimed, and because I never to get in the way of a confident person, agreed to the Christmas present she bought for me.  My Christmas’ are very exciting I can tell you.

I sat on the kitchen chair staring at the blank wall as she began. I could hear buzzing and hair flying all over me.

“Oh dear”, “this is harder than I thought”, “perhaps I should try another adapter”, “Don’t worry I’m doing my best”

And I could hear heavy breathing, nervous silence, her voice sped up anxiously, I could even smell fear.

Now this didn’t inspire me. I frankly wasn’t confident in her ability to do it but she’d started so I had to let her finish. I dreaded looking at myself in the mirror imagining the horror that awaited.

What about you when you’re selling or presenting or coaching? How much confidence are you giving your audience? They expect you to be confident – not arrogant – that’s completely different – just confident in being able to handle their needs, their agenda. If you have expertise, then your confidence should show.

Here’s an MOT checklist on your confidence giveaways:

  1. Voice. It should be at a reasonable pace, not too quick, that suggests nervousness. Your voice tone should be varied with plenty of deep tones. Too high a pitch is not a good signal.
  2. Your peripheries. I mean your hands and feet. When you’re nervous, these wiggle and wobble. Just look at someone who’s tapping their feet uncontrollably under the table – they’re nervous.
  3. Hands are the other periphery. Keep them away from the face – keep them in a oval shape between your belly button and shoulder.
  4. Your body language. No jerky movements, Confident people move slowly and surely.
  5. Facial expressions. Confident people give solid eye contact – not too much – just enough to inspire.
  6. Take control. Confident people take control and lead the customer along the sales path, they expect it.
  7. Learn to enjoy seconds of silence, confident people do. And allow your customer to fill in the silence, they will if you leave it.

These all signal solid self belief and unbreakable self esteem. You do have that don’t you?

As it happens, the haircut was really good, although there’s not much to cut really, my hair is rapidly heading north, if only Claire had acted more confidently, I might not have worried so much and might be looking forward to next time.