Tall and Proud, Trembling Like an Aspen Leaf?


I couldn't believe it as I watched the video. The nervous girl who had stood up in front of the class to give a talk didn't look anything like I felt. 

I was 17 and had delivered a presentation which the teacher had filmed. Afterwards we gathered in an adjacent room, and contrary to my beliefs, I didn't look nervous at all. What I saw was a confident young lady with a relaxed smiled, and steady eye contact with the audience. 

That exercise taught me a valuable lesson; you can feel nervous while still seem confident.  

A few days ago I shot a video of myself, and I will be editing it tonight. In the beginning I felt a bit hesitant about watching myself on video. I still get a strange feeling hearing myself (the voice sounds so different!). At the same time editing your own video is an efficient way of getting to understand what you sound and look like to others, and improve your communication skills. 

When I worked with marketing, I used to take photos of staff members for their websites. So often I would hear people speaking negatively about how they looked (their teeth, their expression, their posture and so on.) I thought they looked perfectly fine on the images, but to some of them it was the opposite, even after editing. 

So what is the conclusion? Simply don't take for granted that because you feel a certain way, it is reflected on the outside. When people give you compliments; when they tell you you look great, confident, smart and so on, absorb the comments like waterdrops in the Sahara. 

You may have 'trembled like an aspen leaf' (Swedish expression), but that's between you and me!