Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Does Confidence Look Like?

Contained in the list of "things" to write about, is the topic of "What Makes Women Seem Confident?" Several people have asked me to write about this and I am interested in the subject because many people tell me that they are intimidated by me before they get to know me. Yikes! That sure is the opposite of the message I want to send and it is always a surprise to me when I hear that comment.

I figure this is all tied up in body language -- the silent words that deliver more than I ever want to divulge. Knowing a little about this part of the sales world, I'm thinkin' that it probably has to do with length of eye contact, calmness of voice, pacing of verbal delivery, erectness of body and a trillion other things.

I have my father to thank for my shoulders back posture. One day as a third grader I must have been slouching and he told me that it was important in life to put my shoulders back. I have Toastmasters International - Westgate Club to thank for my confident presentation skills. But what is it that I am doing that makes people intimidated? Looking at the line up below, which of the women appear most confident? What makes you think so?

What comments do you get about the way others see you? Is it a surprise?


Sandy of Sandy's Stuff for Women said...

In my world (selling women's clothing and accessories), it's obvious to me that feeling confident to most women is all about body image. I never realized until I opened my store (at the age of 50) that an incredibly small percentage of women are truly confident about how they look. Most of us think we're unattractive because we have a few extra pounds, but even the size 2's have a problem with their body. Do guys feel this way?

Lori said...

Confident people have a presents about them. It is not always what they wear it is how they wear themselves. When I sense a person is very comfortable with who they are that shows confidence and if I am not feeling particulary good about myself I can find myself intimidated by that person.
Confidence is about how your present who you are.
That said, I think Debby Peters is very approachable. Her confidence just makes me admire her more.

Darlene said...

I think this is a great topic, as there are so many negative influences in this day and age to alter your mood and confidence levels. You must always present yourself in a confident manner, especially in the business world in order to be successful. This takes constant self reassurance that you are great and can do anything!

Jen Alford said...

I always struggle with this one. I have went to all kinds of seminars on how to present yourself, how to dress and what words to use. I think the bottom line is to be yourself! If you like what you do and are having a good time the confidence will naturally come out. I am not a size two but I am happy...I hate to wear I rarely do! Can you believe I have a stop-do list? Everyone talks about a to-do list but how abut those things you hate doing. Take the time to jot them down. You will be much happier and much more confident in yourslef!

Anonymous said...

One of the exercises we actors do to shake off our own personality and provide a clean slate for new ones to develop is physical and attitudinal movement work.

By this we simply have fun moving simultaneously in a defined space.
The director calls out specific ways of moving and the group of actors experiment with it for several minutes. For instance, "as though your knees are tied together", "with your pelvis jutting out", "looking at others from the top of your forehead".

Individuals start to develop attitudes from shifting their bodies. For instance, Pride (arrogance, stuffiness, upper crust) is often experienced from those who avoid looking straight on, who hold their heads back behind their shoulders and who seldom smile.
Comfortable confidence is experienced from those who hold their eyes steady without looking down on others or who smile with encouragement. Add deep breathing and the experience is even more engaging.
People add such interesting pieces of body mechanics to the structure. What it really boils down to is the comfort of the individual with themselves. When we are comfortable and relaxed, others feel the same way around us.

Leasa said...

I feel most confident when I give myself the power not to take myself so seriously -- and know that I can always do something better next time.