Have you ever found yourself in one of these positions? You’ve got a HUGE client meeting to present your BIG idea or you’re cold calling or you want to ask that person you’ve had your eye on out for a date and you’re nervous? I mean really nervous…uncontrollably, not sure what will come out of your mouth when it opens but your entire reputation rides on it nervous?
I found myself in this position on July 1 at the National Speaker’s Association conference. I had been selected as a contestant in Speak Tank, NSA’s version of the TV show Shark Tank. All I had to do was pitch my Body Language for Profits system in 3 minutes or less and answer questions from 4 potential investors who are NSA’s top members and all millionaires. Oh, and also one shark from the TV show, Kevin Harrington. Hopefully I could get a deal from one of them.
The catch? It’s on the main stage in front of 1500 of my professional speaker peers. As a friend put it, “Don’t worry but just know that your reputation in NSA will be sealed by the time you get off stage.” No pressure. Ha!
My prep was tight but I hadn’t factored in the level of nervousness I’d be feeling. As I sat backstage before the session and watching the 2 competitors before me (with the suspenseful background music blaring thru the huge ballroom), I had to do something to calm myself down. All of the mental tricks I knew weren’t working. So I pulled the last trick out of my bag: body language.
All I did was sit with my fingers tented: all of my fingertips were lightly pressed together. And sure enough, in about a minute, I felt myself calm down.
As soon as I’d move my hands away from one another, the nervousness would come back. So back together they went, fingertips gently touching.
Wow did that move work great. It put me in a state where I was calm, confident and ready for action. And you can do this for yourself, too. It’s an elegant position, looks powerful and will quickly put you in a state where you’re ready for success in any situation. All you’ve got to do is remember to do it.
As for me, I was calm and my pitch went almost perfectly.