A brand is more than a logo on a shirt. A brand has a personality. How we interact with a brand either validates our initial thoughts or convinces us otherwise. When there is a disconnect between what the brand is trying to say and how we experience it the brand loses its stock. Getting it right gives the brand authenticity, credibility and committed followers.
Did you know that you are a brand? That you as a person have brand equity? People buy people. Business is about relationships and the deeper we build those relationships the better the culture we create in our teams, companies and the environment that surrounds us.
In a world of celebrity and social media ‘personal brands’ have seen an unprecedented growth in the marketplace. Yet, behind the Instagram smiles and golden beaches, an influencer’s impact is often only skin deep, lacking any real impact or authenticity. Good working relationships are sustained by something more substantial. People need to truly buy into you.
Projecting your brand with confidence
Have you ever had an idea that you ‘100% get’ but when you tried to articulate it you failed to convey its meaning? Or have you ever failed to convince the people around you to believe in something?
When you can present your idea with confidence you can be a champion for your cause. John F Kennedy got behind the space race in 1961, creating a momentum that had the US believing anything was possible – a golden age of innovation, culminating in the first moon landing.
What made JFK’s speech so believable, compelling and exciting? It was confidence. Confidence like that comes from knowing yourself and expressing your thought, vision, dream as if it’s part of you. Being an agent for change requires you to be ‘all in’. Others will believe because they see your confidence.
It’s like when we are least looking for a partner we seem to become more attractive – maybe because we are confident in who we are when nothing is at stake…
So what if we do lack self confidence in certain situations and as a consequence lack credibility?
Growing up, many of us had an image problem. We tried to look like someone famous, to dress and speak the way they did. Remember the 90’s when a surprising number of young men from the Home Counties started combing their hair forward and speaking with a Mancunian drawl?
So how do we project our personality, everywhere, in an authentic way? We can perhaps manage in familiar places and with people who make us feel comfortable, or maybe when we are unaware… or have practised to come across well. Most of us feel or are effective in some places more than others. Someone might come across completely differently depending on who they are with. Having a real brand is being able to always be in your skin and have authentic impact wherever you are.
Celebrating your individuality is what it’s all about. At Personal Presentation we believe that when you can project YOU confidently, ‘warts and all’, you are ‘performing yourself’ and your brand takes on its own identity. It’s authentic because you are.
There are three barriers to confidence: fear, failure and being fake.
- You care too much about what others think (Fear)
- You are worried about making a mistake (Failure)
- You are trying too hard to be someone you are not (Fake)
Now do the opposite:
Not everyone is going to agree, that’s OK, you can stand for something that others can’t yet see.
If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses, Henry Ford.
One of the biggest fears many people have is public speaking. Why? Because we naturally feel exposed and judged in that situation. Our primordial instincts of fight, freeze or flight kick in, our heart rate rises and we are hit by a rush of adrenaline. Those feelings are a lot to deal with! The hard truth is that we are all on stage all the time, even if it’s not a podium decorated with flags. We are always communicating. The way we interact with the world is the stage from which we share our story. And the good news is that we can learn to use those feelings to work for us, not against us, if have a go and we practise – but only if we practise the right things.
Failure is part of the learning journey – everyone fails – win and learn not win and lose.
The only man that has never made a mistake is the man who never does anything, Theodore Roosevelt.
Imagine a child with a beautiful singing voice who, after one less than perfect performance, was met with a hurtful critique that stuck and the child vows never to put themselves in that position again. We can help that child by giving them perspective.
Relax. No one can be you. You have something to say, something to do and your contribution is important.
The authentic self is a soul being made visible, Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Confidence. Confidence comes from being secure in who we are. Warts and all. No-one is perfect, but we can play to our strengths, admit our weaknesses and learn to believe that this unique person has something worth hearing.
Imagine being comfortable with being you. Essentially, not having to pretend but being more of you – with skill. Not reinventing yourself but rediscovering who you really are and then performing yourself. Being in the zone as you…. Then you will project your personal impact everywhere in an authentic way.
A brand is more than a logo on a shirt, it’s about the person wearing it. At Personal Presentation we help you to be comfortable in your own skin … everywhere.