Mom's Advice Was Right... and Wrong

With Mother's Day around the corner, we're reminded of all the great advice our moms provide -- and a couple of ways she may have missed the mark! Specifically, we'll share ways your mom was right when communicating with confidence:

1. Stand up straight. Mom nailed this one! Stand with your shoulders back and chin up because you will appear confident. The right body language helps you feel more confident.

2. It's okay to cry. Bingo, mom! Be passionate and use emotion when talking. Cry, laugh, choke up. It shows us who you are.

3. It's okay to be nervous. Mom knows that nerves are normal. You'll have them from time to time whether you are going for a job interview, speaking in front of others, asking for a raise or negotiating a contract. Here's what to do: Breathe, do a "warrior pose" or just be aware that feeling nervous means you care.

BONUS TIP: Oops! Even mom gets it wrong sometimes. Here's where mom went wrong. Mom said: If you get nervous, picture everyone in their underwear. Um, no. Do you really want to see Uncle Ted or Bob from accounting in their underwear? Pass on this advice. It takes your focus away from the presentation you're giving or conversation you're having.

4. Stop mumbling! Mom knows that it's not just what you say but how you say it. Your voice is one of your most powerful tools when communicating with confidence.

BONUS TIP: Possible "oops" advice from mom: If your mom ever told you to practice in front of the mirror, reconsider. This will actually work against you for a variety of reasons. For example, you get used to only projecting your voice about two feet in front of you and looking at yourself does not mimic a real-life scenario.

These tips are from my book, Be The Best Bad Presenter: Break the Rules, Make Mistakes and Win Them Over. They are great confidence-boosting tips in general.

Karen Hough is the CEO of ImprovEdge, an Amazon #1 bestselling author, the recipient of the Stevie International Silver Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year in 2012 and the Athena PowerLink Award for outstanding woman-owned business. She is a Yale graduate and Certified Speaking Professional.