Boosting Confidence

Public speaking instructor for lawyers Marsha Hunter has a tip on building instructor confidence: Strike a Power Pose:

Social science research … finds that an expansive posture, or “power pose,” actually results in a short-term testosterone boost that can make you feel more positive about yourself. So, the experts’ advice is, stand in such a pose for a couple of minutes before you have to give a speech. Preen in front of your bathroom mirror. Stride around your living room before a networking event. Gather yourself to your tallest, brashest self while walking to work. Dale Carnegie and generations of speaking coaches in the past 100 years would agree — at least in principle.

If the idea appeals to you, go for it! But remember to keep it behind closed doors. This stance triggers feelings of confidence — and swagger, too. You’ll need to modify your stance when you are actually in the courtroom or giving a presentation. But if it helps you to take it over the top and pretend when no one is watching, I wouldn’t dream of discouraging you.

Is PowerPoint Really That Bad?

Politico writer Roger Simon takes a Jonathan Swift approach to criticizing Paul Ryan’s use of a PowerPoint presentation:

A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations.

Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.

PowerPoint is usually restricted to conference rooms where the doors are locked from the outside. It is, therefore, considered unsuited for large rallies, where people have a means of escape and where the purpose is to energize rather than daze.

Is PowerPoint that bad? It can be, with presenters who are lazy, don’t understand the technology, or don’t care. Don’t let yourself fall into those categories.