Mistake #1: Assuming others know what’s going on inside you.

Let’s say you’re at a meeting, feeling stressed.

But if your heart is pounding, others can’t hear it. If you’ve got butterflies in your belly, others can’t see them. And if your palms are sweaty, no one can tell.

Often, the only reason others know you’re nervous is because you feel compelled to announce it.


Mistake #2: Assuming you know what’s going on inside others.

Suppose, at the next leadership offsite, your CEO stands up and then, in a commanding, operatic voice, sings out the quarterly financials.

You’re impressed.

But you know nothing about the CEO’s inner experience. He could be extremely confident, or extremely nervous, or extremely insane.

Mistake #3: Assuming you should feel as confident inside as others appear outside.

That CEO probably looks solid on the outside; you, on the other hand, feel wobbly on the inside. But that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison.

STOP COMPARING YOUR INSIDES TO OTHERS’ OUTSIDES. (That’s my favorite line, paraphrased, from a so-so novel called “The First Patient.”)

When I work with business leaders, they’re often surprised to discover a basic truth: You can act confident without feeling confident.

You don’t need to feel confident to stand tall. Or to maintain good eye contact. Or to speak with volume. (Learn more: Speaking? 7 Ways to Own the Room)

And if you act confident enough times, eventually the feeling will show up. 

Don’t wait.

P.S. LET’S PRACTICE—SIGN UP TODAY for these upcoming workshops:

(½ day workshop) The Power of Presence: Maximize Your Personal Impact, Boston, March 30

(2 day workshop—limited to7 people) Dynamic Speaking: Get Heard, Get Remembered, Get Results, Boston, May 4-5.

To sign up, or for more info: email info@expresspotential.com: “Sign me up!” is sufficient. Or call 508-879-0934 for more details.

P.P.S. Rather just read a book?

You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World, named one of the best biz books of the year by an obscure, but obviously brilliant, Canadian newspaper. Available in print, kindle, audio.

“Both practical and funny, it’s a great read for anyone who wants to have more impact at work. Hellman has mastered the art of communication, and he lets you in on the secrets. Highly recommended.”
Tim Saeger, Executive Vice President and Chief R&D Officer, iRobot

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PAUL HELLMAN consults & speaks internationally on how to make your point—fast, focused, powerful. For more info about keynotes, workshops & webinars, please click here.

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