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Sometimes You Need a Confidence Boost

Posted 10/22/2014 | By HealthCorps

At some point in your professional career you will probably need to present to others, be it a small office gathering or a major conference presentation. If you find those scenarios somewhat stressful, it may help to play certain phrases in your mind, and according to a recent study, say them out loud.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Business observed a group of test subjects who were going to sing before an audience, and were given the option to say, “I am anxious,” or “I am excited,” or the option to say nothing. The singers were then scored by a karaoke system. The system gave the singers who “were excited,” an average score of 81%, and it gave the singers who were “anxious,” an average score of 69%. It gave the singers who made no comments aloud, an average (unimpressive) score of 53%. The researchers suggest that the excited and even the anxious states of energy are “invigorating,” leading to a positive and confidence-boosting force when verbally expressed before a presentation. Suppressing the energy (that’s the no comment group) may not be helpful, and could actually have a negative impact at either the beginning of the presentation or at some point during the presentation.

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