Frustration Buster Part 5 – Why aren’t I more confident?

Even the most successful people in business lack confidence sometimes. They are just better at dealing with the situation.

So here are 7 Quick Confidence Boosters you can apply to meetings, presentations or just to help you rise to a new challenge.

  1. Remind yourself what you offer the other people. Why were you chosen for this job? Write it down and think of specific proof points. Now is the time to get over yourself and start helping others.
  2. Talk to others as a human to human. Stop trying to be impressive. It’s ease which gives you the presence and status. It’s also a truly liberating approach (even the Dalai Lama uses this one!)
  3. Connect to your purpose or what’s important to you. When you do this you will be an authentic and powerful communicator. People will know you are genuine and more likely to support you. Focus on your ‘why’.
  4. Breathe – in and out naturally.
  5. Prepare solidly – accept the worst case scenario, don’t fight it or dwell on it but do have a plan. Focus on the opportunity.
  6. Dump the PowerPoint slides if you can – instead have a two way conversation.
  7. I would say this wouldn’t I! But if you have real confidence challenges, organise some 1-2-1 coaching. It makes a massive difference.

I hope this helps. See more blogs and vlogs at www.kineticfuture.com/inspirations/

KineticFuture offers executive coaching and communications coaching. We specialise in helping leaders ignite their people around purpose. Contact us on +44 (0)1628 624312 to find out more.


Your Gravitas Vlog 1

Our first vlog series is born! It’s called ‘Manage Your Tell’ – the behaviour that tells people you are under pressure and undermines your position. Click here to watch.

We’ll help you find your tell and give you tips to sort it in this 6 part series. Or call us if you’d like to be coached to develop your own confidence, gravitas or executive presence.

To receive high quality coaching on HOW to develop your own executive presence and gravitas for your own situation do give us a ring. We develop practical programmes to suit you.

Email karenmoyse@kineticfuture.com or call us on +44 (0) 1628 621312.


EP & Gravitas Part 5 – Boost Your Confidence

Boost Your Confidence

Q: There are some people who manage to knock my confidence and I start to lose gravitas in the meeting. The worst are people who ask questions aggressively on subjects I’m not sure about. How do I maintain my confidence and gravitas in this type of situation?


  • Be prepared. Develop answers for the questions you dread the most. And be prepared to say you don’t know and will find the information for them. No one knows everything. Also think of framing the answer in terms of what makes sense or is valuable to the questioner, not just to you.
  • Manage your ‘tell’. Just like in poker this is the behaviour that gives away that you are under pressure. For example it could be smiling too much or fidgeting. If you know what your ‘tell’ is you can manage it, which boosts your confidence.
  • Flip it. In your mind, swap the word aggressive for vigorous. And find the upside of these questions. See it as a sign that they are very interested. Or that you are offering them a platform to look clever. Or that their ‘bad’ behaviour will draw others to your cause. What else can you think of?

If you would like to be coached on HOW to boost your confidence, please do get in touch. We offer group and one to one programmes tailored for your own real situations.


EP & Gravitas Part 2 – Get in the Game for Gravitas

Confidence and grace under fire is one of the top aspects of gravitas, according to research from The Talent Foundation. Today’s question in this series is about being heard.  Timing is everything.  If you can make a well researched point strongly, particularly in the tough times, you will boost your gravitas and executive presence.

Get in the Game for Gravitas

Q: I get the feeling that other senior leaders are not really listening to what I say when we’re round the table. Yet someone else will make the same point and it’s accepted.  Infuriating.  It’s worse when I’m with very loud people.  How do I change this dynamic?

A: This is about developing your professional presence. It’s hard to know exactly what’s happening here without seeing you in action.  But there are three easy things you can try out now and see what works for you.  It’s good practice for when you really need to make a key point in the tough times.  Do the homework below, practice out loud for 15 minutes and then use one or two of the approaches in an easy meeting and see what happens.


    1. Work out a clear point of view and call to action that you can deliver succinctly and with conviction. Then practice. If you ramble, repeat yourself or use words like maybe or perhaps you are undermining yourself. A point of view is a 30 second nugget of good thinking that supports the objective. The call to action is your 15 second advice on what should happen next. It’s the point you would make if you only had 45 seconds. It’s useful to start by saying “To be successful… or To achieve x we need to ….”
    2. Get in the game. This means that before you even speak people need to be aware of your presence. Walk in tall, sit up, lean forward to listen to someone else talking, ask a question, look involved, interested and relaxed. Sit in a power position in the room – in easy line of sight of the key players and avoid being hidden.
    3. Use an easy vocal strength tip. Before you speak, take an intake of breath or use the current speaker’s name to signal you are about to make a point. Then emphasise the consonant at the beginning of the first word of your sentence and the first word e.g. the W in what. Then decide which are the ‘money words’ in your point – essentially the key words you need to emphasise in the sentence. Underline them in rehearsal. This will slow down your delivery and make it more impactful.

To be coached to develop your executive presence and gravitas for your current situation do give us a ring. We develop bespoke courses for individuals or groups. Find out more here.



Millennial Magic

I live with two ‘generation Y’ males – often known as the Me generation or Millennials’. They are just entering the world of work and I have to say I’m impressed. They seem to have tremendous perspective on what’s important and what’s not. They are incredibly savvy. They see the work habits of previous generations as really quite barking mad. Personally, I have a sneaking feeling they are right.

Yet we also know that many ‘gen Y’ers, born in the 80s and 90s, are still the source of huge consternation and angst in the world of work. Their slightly older managers bewail their desire to take responsibility or to do their ‘time’ before promotion and worry about how quickly they move on to other jobs.

I hate to generalise and much has been written about how to inspire them. But in my view not enough consideration is given to their lack of inner confidence (despite appearances), nor their dependence on external factors for success rather than their own internal strength.

These few tips will help you have conversations designed to develop greater genuine confidence so they can grow at work:

  • Help them create an exciting vision and personal objectives – they need to draw it or write it down
  • Talk about their strengths today
  • Be clear about their future potential
  • Anticipate a struggle with work’s realities and create a support structure
  • Provide clarity and firmness around work, behaviour and experience required for them to get their promotion
  • Provide short-term milestones they can meet easily

If you or your team would like to learn practical approaches to ignite millennials around your purpose, do give us a ring. We develop bespoke coaching and training programmes around your own situation.


Get Over Yourself #2

I bet you know how you would like to communicate at work. With confidence, credibility and connection you say. You know what it looks like. You may even have learned to fake it, but your nagging doubts still undermine your ability to be your very best you.

This week’s self coaching tip helps you ‘unstick’ your thinking about yourself and opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Find a quiet place, take your time and ask yourself these questions, make notes as you go. Don’t filter your answers; just write what comes to mind.

  1. What is your goal? E.g. “To talk to important customers with confidence”.
  2. What assumptions are you making that stop you “talking to customers with confidence”? E.g. “I’m not clever enough” (write them all down and choose one to work on). Ask yourself the question 3 times and see what else emerges.
  3. What would be your positive opposite of “I’m not clever enough”? E.g. “I’m really knowledgeable about this problem” (write it down carefully).
  4. Now reframe the question using these precise words and link it to your goal. E.g. “If you knew you were really knowledgeable about this problem what would you do to talk to important customers with confidence?” (keep writing).
  5. What could be a first next step? (write it down).

We coach leaders to change how they communicate to deliver your organisation’s purpose. Self confidence and belief is central to great two way communication. It lies at the heart of our methodology.
To find out more about our bespoke courses click here.

Have a look at the book ‘Time to Think’ by Nancy Kline for more ideas on unblocking your thinking.


Get Over Yourself #1

I gave a ‘Ted Talk’ last week to a big food company. They were wonderful but I was nervous – because my son was going to be in the audience. Crazy I know!

Here are 3 self coaching questions which got me back on track – suggested by Andy McNab, ex SAS.

  1. What would I do if I didn’t feel this way?
  2. What would I do if I didn’t give a damn what other people thought?
  3. What would I do if it just didn’t matter?

Then just do it. Works a treat! The presentation was really enjoyable.

To boost your confidence and get out of your own way, call us. We can coach you and your team to deal with the tough parts of all communications in business. You’ll work on 3 things: mind-set, communications strategy and physicality.

Have a look at the book ‘The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success’ for more gems.


Who Gets The Money?

The strongest predictor of who gets venture capital investment is not the credentials or the content of the pitch.  The strongest predictors are the traits: confidence, comfort level and passionate enthusiasm.

Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy reveals data from Lakshmi Balachandra in her new Presence book.  Balachandra investigated the way entrepreneurs made 185 pitches to potential investors and the way investors responded.

This is relevant for all of us as we go into budget meeting season, whatever industry we’re in.  The clear message is that it’s important to focus as much time on your own ‘professional presence’ as on your content.  But how many times do you find your teams pouring over the final slides at the last minute rather than working on how they communicate?  It’s like going into bat with your hand tied behind your back.

The data may sound puzzling but it makes a great deal of sense.  What the investors are looking for is a person who will deliver the plan.  If the entrepreneur looks like they don’t genuinely believe in the proposition or isn’t genuinely confident, why should the investor believe?

The other interesting part of this research is that the investors distrusted ‘slick’ communicators and were looking for the genuine person.

You can learn these business skills with KineticFuture.  We have a new training programme called ‘Professional Presence. The power of the truth’, which blends skills from psychology, brain science and theatre.  Call us if you would like to know more.


The Confidence Competence Effect

I gave a keynote talk on building confidence last week and there was a great deal of interest in the Confidence Competence Effect.

A number of research studies have shown that many people make the assumption that if you are confident you are also more competent.

This is extremely relevant if you want your ideas to be heard or be promoted but find it hard to communicate in a confident way.  Equally, if you are hiring people it’s easy to make the wrong decision and miss out on really great talent.

The Royal Statistical Society published an article on one piece of research done by Ben Smith and Jadrian Wooten from The School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University.  They used sports pundits in their research (2013) tracking responses using Twitter followership to ensure a statistically valid sample with a measurable end goal.

Essentially, it showed that the public appears to value confidence heavily and place a much smaller, although still positive, emphasis on accuracy.

Predicting every baseball game accurately would only result in a 3.5% increase in followership.  Being consistently confident by contrast would result in an almost 17% increase.  They believe it may be that humans dislike uncertainty and are prepared to trade off accuracy.

I’d like to say the confidence competence effect doesn’t apply to the highly technical or reflective industries we work with.

But we see that top medical consultants are simply not heard at conference if they lack confidence.  Scientific teams are drowned out by their more outwardly confident peers in budget meetings and engineers fail to help the company understand insights vital for the company’s future.

For leaders, it’s important to look beyond the obvious.  And for those appearing less confident it’s a skill area worth acquiring.  You can find a way of doing this in your own authentic style.

We coach confidence as a routine part of all our work.  You can build the genuine foundations for confidence in situations you find challenging and you can ‘fake it to make it’ while you’re working on creating the real thing. Contact us to find out more.

If you are an introvert or an ambivert, an inspiring book to read is Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Just Can’t Stop Talking.  She is a successful lawyer, an introvert and has some great advice.