I was having lunch with a junior planner yesterday and she was telling me how thoroughly she prepares for client meetings and presentations, just for the extra bit of reassurance that she has every possible angle covered.
Which made me offer her the thought that the most important thing I’ve learned about meetings and presenting is that whatever you say, you have to say it with Confidence.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re sharing something you read in last week’s paper, quoting a percentage of prompted consumer awareness or simply offering your opinion – say it with confidence and people are more likely to believe you.
Albert Mehrabian’s research suggests that communication around feelings and attitudes are made up of 7% what you say, 38% how you say it and 55% from your facial expression and body language. Emitting verbal and non verbal confidence makes your message more likely to cut through.
This research doesn’t even take into account what you look like. It’s not just the whole shoulders back, smile, eye contact thing – you have to look and dress the part. The PSFK Rockstar Planner series of videos show just how many takes there are on what a Planner can look like (there isn’t a website called cool planner hair, dude for nothing) but they all use their appearance to make a confident statement about who they are.
I suppose it goes back to the slightly cheesy idea of Personal Branding. If you are confident about who you are and what you stand for – and you communicate that via your appearance – then other people might be more likely to buy in to what you are saying.