Confidence: The Top 3 Things To Focus On

How do you appear confident on the outside even if you are not feelin’ it on the inside?

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in San Francisco recently held an event featuring Lisa Rowland, a consultant with SpeechSkills to give a 2 hour primer called, “The Credibility Code.” In these 2 hours, Lisa shared tips and tricks to appear confident through adjusting body language.

Lisa Rowland of SpeechSkills speaks to a crowd.

Lisa Rowland of SpeechSkills speaking to the audience.

Here are Lisa’s top 3 things to focus on for increasing how confident you appear:

  • Posture (Stand up straight, keep your head level and point your nose directly at your listener)
  • Voice (Articulate clearly, keep your pacing relaxed, speak with optimal volume – not too loud or too soft, though most of us could stand to speak a bit louder)
  • Eye contact (Hold eye contact for 3 – 5 seconds per person when speaking to a group of people and keep your attention forward)

The workshop was great; I came out of it being more aware of the way I hold myself and the way that I communicate others. I’ve realized as well that I may have habits that take away my credibility and make me appear less confident, even when I am feeling confident internally, and have been able to correct some of these.

Lisa Rowland

Lisa Rowland of SpeechSkills – thanks Lisa!

Part of being a working professional, in any industry, includes instilling a sense of trust and authority into the clients or stakeholders that you work with. Whether you’re an optometrist, sales person, sailor or line cook, confidence is key.

A huge thank you to YNPN and Lisa Rowland for making this happen.

What have you learned about confidence in your life? Are there any tricks you’ve learned to make you appear (and maybe even feel) more confident? 

Let me know if you notice any difference in the way people perceive you with any of the tips above. 



Jen Burstedt

4 Top Take-aways From “Leveraging Social Networking to Advance Your Career”

On Thursday, I attended an event hosted by SV Forum (an organization in the Bay Area which fosters innovation through events), focusing on women in technology, on the topic of “Leveraging Social Networking to Advance Your Career.”


The event featured a panel of successful women who are social media savvy and included:


The moderator was Janet Fouts, a social media strategist, and provided a great conversation about using social media to advance one’s personal brand, juggling different social media channels as well as the line between personal and work life.

There was a ton of great information shared at this event. Between the conversation and questions, I jotted a few notes. Here are the top 4 take-aways:

(4) Regular blogging really helps you to become an expert. LaSandra did this for about 2 years consistently – posting 3 times per week –  looking at B2C social media marketing case studies and how these could be used in the context of B2B. Blogging opened doors for her as well as allowed her to learn so much about the topic of social media (LaSandra Brill).

(3) Twitter is a great way to connect with customers when you don’t want to give them your phone number but still want to have a closer connection (Marilyn Lin).

(2) Social media like Twitter or Vine [the 6 second video social media networking site] is so great because putting a constraint [on a platform] allows people to be incredibly creative (Jana Messerschmidt).

(1) To make yourself successful on LinkedIn, start by filling out your profile completely. Connect with people who are in the places where you want to be [in your career]. Continuously ask for recommendations, so it becomes part of your regular career, and is not just used when you’re switching roles (Erica Lockheimer).

In addition to learning a lot, I was inspired to take action – largely related my own social media and blog presence. I created a list of action items (yes, that’s the project manager within me), some of which include:

– Create a Twitter handle for my fish, Tobias – @TobiasBlueth

– Start following Marc Benioff and Sheryl Sandberg on Twitter

– Ask for a LinkedIn recommendation


Great session, hosted by SV Forum and sponsored by Salesforce. Keep up the good work, people!

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