RECENTLY I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of teenaged women who were aspiring to be sportscasters for the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) Philippines.
In that event, sponsored by Converse Philippines in collaboration with Inquirer ToBeYou/To Be Ultimate, the girls went through a whole-day workshop where they got makeup tips from Bobbi Brown representatives, and picked up pointers on self-presentation and public speaking from Rizza Diaz, a sportscaster with the WNCAA.
I covered specifically the area of self-presentation, and how to be confident both on- and off-camera. It was heartwarming to be able to share my experiences with these ladies, because during my teenage years, I also struggled with confidence issues. Therefore, self-presentation and confidence-building are topics close to my heart.
At 5’11” I appreciate my height. But it was not always the case. I used to be self-conscious about always being taller than everyone else. Not only did I feel different from everybody, I literally stuck out of the crowd.
But through years of practice, I learned how to be a more confident person and push myself past my boundaries. Here are some of the tips I shared with the ladies on how they can be more confident.
1) Think tall.
This is probably an odd thing, coming from someone who’s already 5’11”. But being tall and slouching is not really attractive. Posture is the first thing you can change to make yourself more confident.
Whether on- or off-camera, standing, sitting, walking to the grocery store or running, always THINK TALL. Stand tall, walk tall, sit tall. Especially for the ladies who will be on-camera interviewing athletes: You will need to show them that you are in charge. Remember, body language is more than 70 percent of communication, so act the part!
2) Speak slowly.
Choosing your words and speaking in a moderate tempo exude confidence because, normally, when we are nervous, we talk fast and rush through our words. Breathe, choose your words, and enjoy your time speaking.
3) Know yourself.
You may have heard this before, but knowing yourself is not just about being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. It also means recognizing yourself as a product of your own history. Your family, your friends and your achievements, failures and adversities all define you as a person.
During the workshop, I had the girls do a reflection exercise and write about themselves and their families. They also wrote about their hobbies, if they had won any awards and why they were in this competition, among other things.
Afterward, I went around to read their stories and gave them pointers on what they could develop further and what parts they could draw strength on. The key was to inspire them to think about what motivates them, who inspires them, the reasons behind their choices and what lessons they could learn from the milestones in their lives.
This exercise is one that can benefit them throughout their lives. Having a journal, or, in my case, a blog that helps document high and low points in my life, lets me keep a good record of everything that has happened.
4) Celebrate your uniqueness.
Once you understand yourself and your story, NEVER compare yourself to anyone. Everyone has his/her strengths and weaknesses, so what you can do, someone else may not be able to. For instance, I know for a fact that I cannot sing, and will never audition for any talent show. But since I have been blessed with the ability to connect with people, I will share my story and inspire others through workshops—instead of singing about it.
5) Dress the part.
Looking good always makes you feel good about yourself. Dressing the part does not necessarily mean wearing expensive or too-revealing clothes. It simply means understanding what the circumstance is and wearing clothes that are appropriate to the situation.
For instance, you would never wear slippers to a job interview. On top of that, wearing clothes that are well-fitted to your body also makes you look sharp and presentable. Plus, dressing smartly gets people to pay attention to you.
Photography Glette-Yzak Muring