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How to End Your Presentationon a Positive Note

How to End Your Presentationon a Positive Note

I realized the secret to success was finishing! And not just finishing, but finishing strong!

–– Eric Thomas


By John Millen

Which is more important, the opening of your presentation, or the close?
 
This is an oft-debated question because they’re both critically important. In communication, we talk about primacy and recency. Do people better remember what they hear first or what they hear last?
 
Generally speaking, due to extremely limited attention spans, I believe your opening is more important because if you don’t engage people right away, you might lose them forever.
 
There’s also that matter of making a positive first impression. If you get off to a bad start, you’ve dug a hole that can be difficult to climb out.
 
Having said that, how you end your presentation is also critically important. It’s a crucial part of how you organize your presentation. You definitely need to end on a strong note that is action oriented. 
 
Here are three tips to help you end on a positive note. These apply to speeches, meeting presentations, sales and all other communication that is meant to influence others:
 
1) Summarize 
We like to say that a speech, in its simplest form, has three parts: You should tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them. Reinforcement of your message is extremely important. (Remember those teeny tiny attention spans.) Summarizing this way will help you to streamline your presentation.
 
2) Issue your call to action 
Asking people to do something, almost anything that is relevant to your presentation, matters for retention of your ideas. That’s because our brains are activated by requests. 
 
If there is no request made, people walk away retaining very little information because they have no reason to do anything with it. If there’s no action associated, it doesn’t get flagged as important.

By issuing a request, you have alerted their brains to the fact that something must be done with the information you provided. Your call to action can take many forms from you requesting certain behavioral actions, like buying or signing up, to something simply attitudinal like being open-minded about a controversial topic or change you discussed. In any case, ask for something.

3) Questions and answers 
If you take questions at the end of your presentation, it is important to end on a positive note. To do that you should plan to do two different closes. At the end of your first close, provide your summary and your call to action, then say “thank you” to signal the audience for applause.
 
Then announce that you’ll take questions, perhaps for a certain amount of time, and begin your Q&A. As the questions wind down, try to end on a positive question that has a strong response from you. If you don’t have a positive question to end on, finish your response to the neutral or negative question in a positive way.
 
Then say something about time running out and offer your second close, which is a slightly reworded summary and call to action so people leave with your key messages and with an action step to take, helping to aid their recall of your message.

That’s called ending on a positive note.
 
You can tell me your stories, thoughts or ideas with me by visiting my contact page.

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John 
 

Three Super-Valuable Phrases forBusiness and Life

By John Millen

Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it.–– Maya Angelou

Growing up with a hard-working single mother and few resources, I learned early on that it never hurts to ask. I’ve continued that policy, and it’s been helpful in every aspect of life and business.

 
On the other side of the ledger, I will go out of my way to ask other people how I can help them. I’m also a big believer in random acts of kindness. The world has never needed those more than it does today.
 
Avoiding rejection
But I know I’m not the norm. Many of us feel uncomfortable asking for help or some kind of favor. We think we’ll be rejected. We’re concerned we are imposing.  So we don’t ask. 
 
This is sad because I bet you can think back to opportunities you missed because you failed to ask: the cool assignment that went to someone else; the client you failed to win; or even the love that passed you by.
 
We shouldn’t be afraid to ask because people like to help other people. It’s a fact. It can make us feel good. Research says we get a hit of dopamine, the pleasure hormone, in our brain’s reward center by helping others.  
 
In any case, here are three phrases that will increase the likelihood you’ll get what you ask for.
 
1) “But you are free”
It would seem obvious that when you make a request of people, they have the right to decline. But something interesting happens when you say out loud that they, of course, can pass on your request. 
 
Long-term research has shown that people are almost twice as likely to do what you request if you add a phrase like, “but you are free” (BYAF) not to do that favor. The specific words are not important, it’s the acknowledgment that they have freedom of choice.
 
There are different theories about why this phrase works, but the evidence is clear. You can learn more by reading this interview with Dr. Christopher Carpenter, a researcher and professor at Western Illinois University, who reviewed forty-two studies on the BYAF effect.
 
I recommend you try using this phrase, or something similar. But feel free not to try it. 


2) “Because”
When you request a favor of someone, research shows you will be significantly more successful if you provide a reason for the request. This, again, would seem obvious, but as Dr. Robert Cialdini notes in his landmark book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, you will be substantially more successful if you use the word “because” with your request. 
 
Citing the work of Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer, Cialdini writes of experiments where a person would ask to cut the line to use a copy machine. The simple request using the word “because” resulted in more than 90 percent acceptance, while a request without the word was granted 60 percent of the time.
 
Here are the requests:
 
Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?  (60 percent acceptance)
 
Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?  (94 percent acceptance)
 
They added this question to make sure it was not the “rush” that caused compliance:
 
Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?  (93 percent acceptance)
 
Cialdini says the word “because” triggers our “automatic compliance response” as human beings. Hearing the word makes us automatically want to say “yes.” This, of course, does not apply to all situations, especially higher-stakes decisions.
 
I recommend against saying, “Would you promote me to vice president because I have great leadership ability?” 


3) “What questions do you have for me?”
Have you ever stood in front of a group when you finished your presentation and asked, “Do you have any questions?” Did you stand there for what seemed like an hour? Did you hear crickets? Did you say, uncomfortably, “Well, okay, I guess I covered everything.”
 
There’s something about hearing the phrase, “Do you have any questions” that seems to feel uninviting. Even people who have questions will look around at others and wonder if they’re imposing by asking a question. It’s weird.
 
Try this instead: “What questions do you have for me?” I started using this phrase about a year ago, and it works about 80 percent of the time, much more than the status quo approach. 
 
I ran across this approach in a small book titled, Exactly What to Say, The Magic Words for Influence and ImpactIt’s a simple read with twenty-three phrases focused mainly on successful sales but applicable in life since, as I always say, life is sales.
 
If you find any of those approaches interesting, I suggest you choose one and try it for thirty days because I believe you’ll see great results. But you are free to choose your own approach.
 
Now, what questions do you have for me? Just hit visit my contact page and we can talk.
 
John

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Five Ways to Streamline Your Presentations

By John Millen

I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.         
                                — Mark Twain

We know that everyone is distracted beyond belief. When I’m giving a speech and talking about distraction, I see a room full of knowing smiles and nodding heads. 
 
There is a good reason for that. It’s estimated that we are exposed to some five thousand marketing messages a day. Our phones constantly beg for attention. We have endless emails, texts, and social media notifications.
  
And the pace of business and life is faster than ever. The 24/7 news cycle. Working through worldwide time zones.

One. Word. Texts.
This has meant people communicate in increasingly short messages. 280 characters. Five-second sound bites. One. Word. Texts. Or just an emoji. ;-)
 
All of this means that we are awash in information.
 
Despite all this distraction, there are times we are held captive and must pay attention or seem to pay attention — and that’s at work. We go to meetings — little meetings, larger meetings, and even convention-size meetings. If you’ve sat through a seemingly endless presentation, you know how that feels.

Focus your messages 
All of this distraction means it’s more important than ever that we focus our messages to be as clear and concise as possible.
 
As subject-matter experts, our biggest job isn’t knowing what to say, it’s knowing what not to say. We have an obligation to cut the clutter and focus on what people really need to know.
 
But this is hard work. We can take the lazy way out and do a data dump. That’s easy just put up a huge deck of dense PowerPoint slides covered with words and numbers. Just stand there and talk, and keep talking until they get it.
 
That might have been okay in an earlier time. But today, less is more.

In fact, less has always been more. That’s why President Lincoln’s 282-word Gettysburg address still retains its power.
 
Engage and influence
People are more likely to be engaged, enlightened, and influenced if you give them less information but with more meaning.
 
You don’t have to be perfect. No one misses what they didn't know was coming. Unless you printed out a transcript, they don't know what you were going to say. When I’m working on a presentation with a leader, I often have to tell them to stop trying to squeeze ten pounds of sugar into a five-pound bag.
 
I've been guilty of this myself. In trying to give workshop participants maximum value, I have sometimes sped up to cover every section rather than leave some techniques for another day.
 
We all need to be part of the solution and give people less information and more understanding.
 
Here are five ideas for you to streamline your presentations:

1) When planning your presentation, think in terms of ideas. Decide on your major message, the one thing you want people to remember, and think of three ideas or points that support that message. Then build on those three ideas with one-liners, a meaningful statistic, or a story.

2) Take your slide deck and reduce the number of slides by half. Then remove half of the words on each slide. Force yourself to be clear and concise about your ideas. We think we can multitask, but we can’t. If you have a lot of words on your slides, your audience will be reading them and not listening to you. We can’t truly do both.

3) Consider not using slides at all. People are there to hear from you. Your slides should only support your points. Having no slides will mean they are fully focused on you and your message.

4) Cut the time of your talk in half. Instead, use the extra time for questions, or just let people go. Nobody complains about a presentation that ends early. “That presentation was way too short,” said no one. Ever.

This applies whether you are a CEO doing a presentation or a frontline sales manager.

5) Boil your presentation down to key words that you can write on an index card. I call this a “confidence card.” You will know that the brief card is there if you need it, but you’ll be better off without it. Just speak from your heart.

Bonus tip: tell stories. As human beings, we are hardwired for storytelling. Instead of presenting a lot of data, try telling a story that makes your point. Stories are more engaging, persuasive, and memorable. Create your own story bank and your presentations will be much more memorable.
 
Following these and similar approaches will allow you to use less information with more impact. You get the idea. Think about paring back the amount of clutter you put out in the world.

Find the gems and give those as gifts to the people you reach. They'll appreciate it because today, truly, less is more.

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John

Three Ways to Differentiate Your Personal Brand

At a local women's leadership conference, I had the opportunity to hear Carla Harris, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, give some really great advice for women, and men, on achieving success by differentiating yourself in the workplace.
 
As an African-American woman on white-male-dominated Wall Street, Harris has learned to position herself in a way that allowed her to thrive while being true to herself.

She offered a wide range of wisdom, focusing on three core messages. (If you’re tempted to read ahead, go for it – people loved her third idea as much as I did and I would recommend you seriously considering trying it in your workplace.)
 
1) Be authentic
Too many people try to act in a way at work that is not really who they are. This causes anxiety, disconnection and feelings of being an impostor. Being your authentic self, Harris says, positions you for success, because:

  • You are your own competitive advantage. No one can be you the way you can be you! The last thing you should ever do is to submerge that which is uniquely you.

  • Anytime that you are trying to behave or speak in a way that is inconsistent with who you really are, you will create a competitive disadvantage for yourself.

  • If you bring your authentic self to a relationship, people will trust you, and trust is at the heart of any successful relationship.

  • Most people are not comfortable or confident in their own skin, so when they see that trait in you, they will gravitate toward you.

Harris, who also is a highly successful gospel singer, said early in her career she would bristle when her colleagues would tell clients about her singing. She would roll her eyes when they said, “Carla is an amazing gospel singer, with three CDs and four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall.” 
 
She changed her mind when she saw enthusiastic client reactions. Potential clients would ask about her career and whether she would talk to their daughters about integrating business and the arts in their lives. 

“We ended up having a fifteen-minute meeting before the meeting,” Harris said. “When I sat down to pitch, they heard me with a different ear, they saw me through a different lens.” These conversations helped her to win business as it differentiated her “from five other investment bankers pitching that IPO.”

From that moment on, Harris said she brought to business “all my Carla Harris’s” – singer, prayer warrior, golfer, football fan – because you never know who will connect with something you love.
 

Another great example of a totally authentic leader is Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx.

2) Take risks
A second way to differentiate yourself is by showing you can take risks, Harris said. During challenging times in a workplace, everyone tells you to keep your head down so you can fly under the radar.

Harris recommends the opposite. “When everybody else is besieged with fear and everybody else is ducking, you have clear vision to see the opportunity,” she said. 
“In a difficult environment, it’s time to speak up. 
 
The issue with keeping your head down is you submerge your voice and your voice is at the heart of your power. Fear has no place in your success equation.”

Harris said to ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that can happen? She said you might fail, but failure always brings a gift: experience, and leaders will see you as a person of action who should be kept around.
 
3) Manage your perception
Harris said the important thing she has learned after two-and-a-half decades on Wall Street is, “perception is the co-pilot to reality. How people perceive you will directly impact how they deal with you.
 
She said that after five years in her career, a senior director told her she was smart and hard-working, but he didn’t think she was tough enough for the business of Wall Street. Harris was outraged.
 
magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and a graduate of Harvard Business School, she had overcome significant challenges to land at Morgan Stanley. In her colloquial speech, Harris shouted to the crowd, “You can call Carla Harris a lot of things, but ‘ain’t tough’ ain’t one of them.”
 
She thought to herself, “Suppose he really doesn’t think I’m tough enough?” One can’t be seen as weak on Wall Street. “I decided for ninety days I would walk tough, talk tough, eat tough, and drink tough, use tough in my language.”
 
It’s important to have consistent behavior and language, Harris said, and to “use this language in your environment, particularly when you are talking about yourself. You can train people to think about you in the way that you want them to think about you.”
 
Harris had a reputation for being very good at critiquing management presentations, so much so that before company roads shows for a multi-million dollar IPO or stock transaction, her colleagues would ask her to listen to a presentation and give the CEO feedback.
 
“Next time, after I’d gotten that feedback about not being tough, I said wait a minute, tell me about this guy, is he sensitive, does he have a thin skin? I don’t want to hurt nobody’s feeling, ’cause you know I’m tough,” Harris said, drawing laughter and applause.
 
“I kept using this language over and over to describe myself. Sure enough, after ninety days of work, I was behind a group of people, they didn’t know I was behind them.”
 
She said she heard a VP beating up an associate to make sure they were fully prepared for their meeting: “We’re going to see Carla Harris, and you know, she’s so tough.”
 
Carla Harris succeeded in one of the world’s most challenging business environments, Wall Street, by making her authentic self a positive differentiator.
 
She didn’t need to hide herself – she let the real Carla Harris shine through.
 
It may have been tough, but that’s Carla Harris. She’s tough.
 
Questions for you: 
How are you perceived in your workplace?
 
Is that perception consistent with who you really are?
 
Carla Harris recommends an exercise of choosing three adjectives you want people to use to describe you when you are not in the room, because that’s when all of the important decisions are made about compensation, promotion, and new assignments. The adjectives should be consistent with the position you seek.

I previously wrote about a similar exercise: 

Personal Branding: How Do People Perceive You
 
Carla has also written several relevant books.

I'd love to hear your feedback! To share your thoughts with me you can use my contact page.

Please do me a favor and use the buttons below to share this message with someone you think might benefit.
 

John

Image Credit: Morgan Stanley

Alex Trebek's Inspiring Cancer Fight 

It’s about focusing on the fight, not the fright.

― Robin Roberts, Anchor,
ABC’s Good Morning America

 
As a long-term viewer of Jeopardy!, the popular television quiz show, I was saddened when I heard news that its host Alex Trebek was diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer. 
 
My grief was not only centered on losing Trebek, who has hosted Jeopardy! for thirty-five years, but by the reminder that all of us have been touched in some way by the insidious disease of cancer.
 
I lost my mother, who raised me by herself, to pancreatic cancer many years ago. As I learned first-hand, this form of cancer is particularly swift and deadly.
 
These emotions were with me as I viewed Trebek’s video announcement. (You can watch at the end of this article in case you haven’t seen it.)
 
As a CEO communication coach, I watched Trebek’s announcement in amazement. His message is warm, personal, encouraging, even uplifting. I've worked with senior leaders on dealing with similar personal messages. It's not easy.
 
Trebek’s approach provides lessons for leaders and all of us on communicating difficult, especially health-related, news:
 
Get ahead of the story
The legendary game-show host said he was sharing the news himself. In line with the show’s "longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base,” Trebek said, “I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. Therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass on this information.”
 
Trebek is right. You have the opportunity to tell your story. If you don’t, others will fill the vacuum with rumors and misinformation. Of course, you also have the right to complete privacy.
 
Be as transparent as feels comfortable
There was a time when cancer was the “C-word,” never mentioned publicly. People were loath to disclose that they had the disease for fear of being virtually shunned.
 
Thankfully, that has changed. People are more open about a diagnosis, which gives others the opportunity to give much-needed support. You should disclose as much or as little as makes you comfortable.
 

Tracy Austin John Millen.jpg


Tracy was a great speaker and leader in Toastmasters, where we met years earlier.
I visited him at a meeting shortly after his diagnosis.

 
When my friend Tracy Austin, who passed away nearly two years ago, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he decided to be completely transparent about the highs and extreme lows of his battle. As I wrote at the time:
 
When Tracy shared his diagnosis, he and his wife and soul mate Karen committed to being open and transparent through their journey. On Facebook, they’ve intimately shared their pain, their joy, their fears, and their love.
 
They challenged thousands of us to live our lives with awareness, gratitude, and love. A community of support has surrounded them, with continuous prayers, positive energy, and daily visits and support. People have worn name tags in support of Tracy. #TeamTracy
 
As he went through some fifteen rounds of wrenching chemo, Tracy maintained his positive attitude, thanking his doctors and nurses for their support, and supporting other patients. 

 
You can read more of this at Tracy Austin: a Legacy of Love.
 
Be yourself
Working with senior leaders, I focus on the elements that influence peoples’ perception of your message: your words, your tone, and your attitude.
 
A health diagnosis is the ultimate opportunity to be authentic and share yourself.
 
As you will note from his video, Trebek maintains his show demeanor, which presumably is close to who he is, and even uses humor to diffuse the tension of his message for his fans.
 
"I plan to beat the low survival-rate statistics for this disease," he said. "Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!"
 
Let people support you
It may feel awkward asking for support, but you are doing people a favor. As human beings, it’s in our nature to offer support to others in need. 
 
Trebek asks for support and ends on a note of hope. “Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” he says. 
 
Trebek cites the statistic that fifty thousand people in the United States are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, adding that, “with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease... So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
 
I’m keeping the faith with Alex and with everyone touched by the scourge of cancer. We are with you and look forward to the day when cancer is permanently defeated. 

Click below to watch Alex's message:
 

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John

7 Keys to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.”  
 

–– Maya Angelou


By John Millen

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman recounts feeling like an imposter at an invitation-only gathering of renowned artists, scientists, writers and other luminaries:
 
I felt that at any moment they would realize that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things.

On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name. And then he pointed to the hall of people and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.”

And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.”

And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.

 
Gaiman’s sense that others feel the same way is right. Research has found that up to 70 percent of us at some point in our lives feel fraudulent — like we don’t belong in our current jobs and will soon be found out.
 
This issue of feeling like a fraud came up in my conversation with leaders in a training session in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago.

Feeling Like a Fraud
I know I’ve felt this way. Starting off life in the housing projects in Philadelphia with a hard-working single mother, I would often question my subsequent good fortune in corporate life.
 
Before starting my consulting business 15 years ago, I served as Vice President of Communications at a Fortune 100 company. I was one of the youngest officers and worked at the highest level with the CEO, presidents and other senior leaders.
 
And there were moments, especially starting out, that I felt like a fraud – certain that at any moment the Imposter Police were going to show up at the door of my office in the skyscraper and escort me out.

Or maybe they’d just throw me out of my twenty-second-floor window. Over time, I came to appreciate my own expertise and employed some of the strategies I mention below to reconcile my view.
 
Successful Women Only?
Humans have probably experienced these feelings through the ages, but the modern concept seems to have begun with the research of Dr. Pauline Clance in the 1970s. 

She initially believed what she called the “imposter phenomenon” was experienced exclusively by successful women in a male-dominated culture. Through additional research, she came to realize that fraudulent feelings are rife throughout the population.

She developed an extensive questionnaire to determine whether one has the syndrome. This New York Magazine article created a nine-question quiz that will give you a quick take, if you really need confirmation.
 
Some research also links imposter syndrome with perfectionism. That’s the sense that “if I can’t do this job perfectly, I must not be qualified. I’m a fraud.”
 
The primary problem for leaders is that if you feel like a fraud, your executive presence – your communication – will suffer. Here are a few thoughts and tips I’ve used successfully myself and with clients on how to deal with imposter syndrome:
 

1. Remember, you’re not alone
As I noted, 70 percent of people at some point feel fraudulent. And this is true at every level of an organization. I work with CEOs and other very senior leaders who feel this way. In fact, the higher you rise in an organization, the more likely you are to feel less than qualified, especially in the beginning.
 
Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks and presidential candidate, said that he and other CEOs talk about feeling like imposters in their roles: “Very few people, whether you’ve been in that job before or not, get into the seat and believe today that they are now qualified to be the CEO. They’re not going to tell you that, but it’s true.”
 
2. Stop comparing yourself
The saying to live by is that "comparison is the thief of joy." This is no more true than in a digital/social world where people post only their best moments and give the impression that their lives are endlessly exciting. 

There will always be people who are better and worse than we are, but we tend to compare ourselves with those who seem to have it all together. There is no upside in this comparison unless you are using someone as a role model to motivate you.

3. Express your fears
As they say, FEAR is false evidence appearing real. So much of what we see and interpret passes through the negative filter created by our anxiety or perfectionism. We set such high standards and believe we are not achieving anything worthwhile. Talking to a trusted friend, mentor or professional counselor can give you the perspective you need to see the reality. Sometimes, just verbalizing your fear can provide release.
 
4. Suspend judgment
Consistent with this perspective is giving yourself a break. Try to turn off the negative voice in your head that is reminding you today of past insecurities or failures.
 
5. Reframe your story
One way to stop the negative voice in your mind is to reframe your story. As humans, we are hardwired for and the person we tell stories to the most is ourselves.
 
Take the time to write down the feelings you are experiencing as an “imposter.” Look for the root of the story. Did a parent, a coach or a high school kid say something that left you with an imprint? Was it a perceived “failure” that set a standard you’re applying today? If so, draw that out and rewrite the story. What happened in the past is not relevant to what you face today. The past does not have to be prolog to the present.
 
6. Shift your mindset
What I’ve found is helpful with clients is your mindset in two ways away from a focus on yourself: First, shift from you to the value you are bringing to others. Think in specific terms about what you do that has impact on people. Second, change from a performance mindset to a learning mindset. It’s better to gauge whether you are growing than whether you are measuring up, especially in a new position.
 
7. Fake it until you become it
In her viral TED Talk, which I recommend you watch, Dr. Amy Cuddy described her own feelings of being an imposter. She had planned to drop that section of her talk as “too personal” and later was surprised to find an outpouring of people who resonated with her story.

Cuddy’s research led her to conclude that adopting body language may physically transform us, through the release of confidence-boosting hormones. You don’t have to fake it till you make it. You can fake it until you become it.
 
As you continue to take on new challenges, it’s only natural to feel some sense of inadequacy. That’s how you know you’re growing because personal growth happens outside of our comfort zones. And that’s okay.
 
As Dr. Cuddy concludes in her excellent follow-up book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.
 
Most of us will probably never completely shed our fears of being fraudulent. We’ll just work them out as they come, one by one. I can’t say that you will soon shed all your impostor anxieties forever. New situations may stoke old fears; future sensations of inadequacy might reawaken long-forgotten insecurities. But the more we are aware of our anxieties, the more we communicate about them, and the smarter we are about how they operate, the easier they’ll be to shrug off the next time they pop up. It’s a game of whack-a-mole we can win.
 
Well said.

I’d love to hear your stories. You can communicate directly with me through my contact page.