This TED talk suggests that your body language may shape who you are. I wholeheartedly believe that it does, changing my stance and channelling the woman in the above photo allows me to be confident when speaking publicly. A friend sent me this photo a few years ago. He said it reminded him of me. Once you get over the fact that it is a statue of a stripper promoting a strip joint in Las Vegas, it can be taken as a compliment! Just look at her posture; she is oozing confidence and has an air of ‘don’t mess with me’. By opening up her frame she is presenting a powerful stance. I call her Tawanda (remember Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop cafe?!) and I use her as a kind of alter ego in the same way that Beyonce has Sasha Fierce to help her during performances.
I used to be terrified of speaking in public. In fact, I used to do absolutely anything to get out of any events that required me to ‘put myself out there’. However, awareness raising is a large element of my charity work and so public speaking events are a necessity. I won’t lie, I still get slightly sweaty palms beforehand and I think anyone who says they don’t when they do public speaking is telling porkies. However, once I start talking and have channelled Tawanda, there is nothing stopping me. By pretending to be someone else, I can leave my less confident self outside of the room while I get on with the job in hand.
I find adopting her stance is the best way to appear confident. A bold stance is always the way forward with public speaking. A calm and strong exterior means your audience won’t be able to smell your fear!