Rule 14: Exude Confidence and Energy

Aviation Expert, Barrister Allen Onyema, Owner of Air  Peace Airline

I
once had to give a talk to a large group of businesswomen about stress
management.  As I walked to the front to
start my talk, I noticed that there was no lectern for notes (not that I had
any anyway), nowhere to stand.  There was
a desk with a chair behind it.  If I sat
there I would have been lost to view to anyone who wasn’t in the front row and
it would have seemed very stilted and formal. 
I could have stood there with my arms behind my back looking like Prince
Philip
talking to the palace staff. 
I could have stood there with my hands by my side or clasped in front of
my groin like an embarrassed schoolboy. 
But I was about to talk about stress – and its management.  I needed to look relaxed, calm – as if I was
practicing what I was preaching, walking my talk.

I
solved it by sitting on the edge of the desk. 
I could swing my legs, lean back, lean forward, almost lie down if I
wanted.  I met someone several years
later who had been there and she said that she couldn’t remember a thing I’d
said, but had been impressed by how relaxed I’d seemed – and how when I’d
finished talking I spray up and went off for photos with the local
journalist.  I don’t remember that bit
but she said I seemed confident, relaxed but also energetic.

‘WHEN YOU
WALK THROUGH THE OFFICE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING THERE SHOULD BE A SPRING TO
YOUR STEP”.

That’s
what we’re aiming for.  When you walk
through the office first thing in the morning there should be a spring to your
step.  Let the others crawl in looking hung
over or freshly turfed out of bed or exhausted from long hours commuting.  You will arrive fresh and energetic, ready
for the day’s work which shall be as a trifle to you to deal with, a mere
nothing. Walk quicker rather than slower – quick means keen, means energy,
means awake and lively and ready for the challenges the day will throw your
way.
Not too
quick mind or you’ll seem to be in a rush. 
You need to be smoothly in control – not hurried, not sluggardly, not
cowed or beaten.  You need to be seen as
bright and fresh and alive and enthusiastic.
(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to develop
the style that gets you noticed”
from The
Rules
tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

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