These words headlined an article by William Rees-Mogg in the MoS and there are plenty like it. As the world economy falls apart, confidence, or rather lack of it, dominates the media, and our lives, at an intensity not seen since the thirties. As a result we repond, perhaps disproportionately, to those who appear to have it.
Right now Gordon Brown has it more than Cameron. His appointment of Mandelson who exudes an eery sense of confidence, could prove to be a masterstroke. Perhaps one reason Kenneth Clarke is in the frame for the Tory front bench is an ebullient self-confidence less evident in his colleagues.
Barack “yes you can” Obama has it! Oratory up there with the Gettysburg address, body language to rival Roosevelt, whose “jaunty figure communicated boundless confidence to his countrymen” and the charisma of Kennedy.
The relevance to the business pitch? Confidence has never been so important. No one has a crystal ball, no proposal comes with cast iron guarantee, no procurement process can eliminate error. Now, more than ever, it is the teams who inspire the intangible of confidence that get the vote.
How do you build this? You accept that the more you rehearse, the more confident you will be. That the strong opening gives you and your audience confidence. That it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. And, that listening can be more powerful than talking.
Yet another lesson from Obama, ( Andrew Sullivan, S Times) “What he gets, what he seems to intuit, is how to make others feel as if they are being heard”
Its what all clients want! (More on confidence in Best Practice Guides and posts Sept 15, Oct 8,15,19)