Janet Adetu

Command that Room with ConfidenceBy Janet Adetu

You have just been invited to a networking gathering, a seminar, conference or workshop you are excited about the event but still hold reservations because you are anxious about what to wear, who will be there and what to say when you meet people. Does that sound a little familiar?

Time and time again research has proven that the average adult has challenges walking into a room full of strangers. When you think about it at first glance you wonder why after all it is just a group of people like yourself. But then again it is not far-fetched nobody likes to be put on the spot and subjected to scrutiny. The tendency is that you find most adults become sensitive when they are aware that they are being assessed, as to how good or bad they look, their accuracy in choice of clothing, shoes, accessories you name it. It takes an adult who has passion for facilitation, training, motivational speaking or the likes to understand what it takes to command a room with confidence. Interestingly it is not just the adults experiencing this. In my recent youth workshop my findings were the same among all the teenagers. When asked to score themselves regarding confidence level and a room of strangers the majority scored well below 5 over 10.

The easiest way to kill your image or downplay your true personality is to:

  • Appear nervous, anxious and flustered
  • Dress beneath yourself and true personality
  • Dress in a manner that is inconsistent and unclear
  • Project a negative attitude
  • Have poor social and dining savvy skills
  • Display inconsistent decision making

To command a room with confidence is to enhance your brand and maintain a good lasting impression. You will need to build your confidence and deportment level in order to stay relevant, influent and significant. In building your relationships whether for work or pleasure people will admire you for what they see, do you come across friendly, warm and approachable. By confidence I do not mean overzealous or pompous but just enough for someone to want to know you and what you do better. As you walk into a room at your next event or gathering remember your first impression will count and simply make all the difference. As they say;

“It takes seconds to form a good first impression but it may take several     years or even a life time to get rid of a bad impression”

“It can take 20 years to build a good reputation and minutes to destroy it”

People will always remember you the very first time they saw you, at this point it will be once you walk through the entrance door. One quick secret I must share is that whenever there is an occasion unconsciously people always have their eyes on the entrance of the venue or doorway of the hall, It would not be a stare but short gazes towards that direction especially as someone steps in. It is in recognition of who has just stepped in and to register if it is someone you know or not. Just take a quick note next time once it is someone of significance or high levels of confidence the reaction towards that person is positive, welcoming and exciting. Suddenly some people may gear towards that person to greet. That person really knows how to command a room as they radiate with electric presence. This an attribute to aspire to achieve over time.


  1. Appearance of Approval:

Don’t just step out without looking back, a quick audit and assessment is necessary as to how you appear for each and every occasion. Once you have adopted your own style, brand personality and comfort level this exercise becomes easier. It is easier to over dress than underdress to help boost you confidence and feel like you belong. I recently attended a wonderful old girls reunion after 33 years of seeing each other. Having not seen each other for so long and not knowing what to expect or what each person was up to we could only rely on what we saw in person. Everyone was unconsciously being judged based on what they wore, how they behaved and the extent to which they communicated. Some took school days into adulthood being fun and full of laughter while others you could sense the level of reservation within them. Even though we were not strangers to each other some still need that moment of unwinding, finding their feet before releasing the inborn energy they have.

Your appearance will say so much about you and your personality, the image you project is the one you are happy to display good, bad or ugly.

Are you portraying the best you or are you still in the bubble of “It does not matter Syndrome?”

To command a room you will need to dress to fit in for the occasion and for the world of people you re among. Commanding the room means you are quite comfortable being introduced to anyone, free to have a conversation with those that matter and open enough to meet new acquaintances to build your business.

I started the five simple things you need to command any room with confidence with the most important that being your appearance. It is not just about you at this time but ensuring that you recognize you will unconsciously be scrutinized by all whether you want it, like it or approve of it. Just like what you say matters, indeed what you wear will surely matter too. Step out with the three C’s: feeling cool, calm and comfortable. Let me mention the remaining four steps now.

  1. Communicate With Charisma:

How do you instantly greet people at first sight?

Do you gesture to shake hands? Do you gesture to hug? Do you just offer a flimsy nod of the head?

Your warmth on display will automatically tell us your style and personality.

Is yours warm, hot or cold? Your voice is a major power point for you if you must talk with clarity, start with small talk and then graduate into a conversation if you feel you have connected. In commanding a rom it is all about relating to others one at a time, it may not be through a conversation it could start with a simple smile on first sight, then a greeting, then quick commentaries to small talk and a full-blown conversation if you go the whole nine yards. All these stages do not need to happen at once or even within the same time space. They can begin to manifest over several hours within the same day or over a number of days if it is a multiple day event. Be calculated and sensitive to those you choose to speak with, endeavor to say those things that are pleasing to the ear that one will be willing to respond to.

3.  Perfect Pitch

I discovered that many people attend networking gatherings quite unprepared. They are asked one simple question about themselves, and body language suggests they are still thinking of what to stay. The question really was: What do you do?

If you are jack of multiple trades, it may sound tacky mentioning all areas at once, your environment should determine the best trade to flaunt. It should be relevant to those in your midst that you leverage on. At this point in time I will implore you to conduct a simple exercise and that is to answer the next easy but important questions:

  • What is your name
  • What do you do as a profession?
  • Who do you work for?
  • Where?
  • What is your position?
  • What can you do for me?

    Do you think you can structure your answers in such a way that these responses can be said within a space of 30 second?

This is the makeup of your perfect “elevator pitch” All it will take from you a bit of practice, think of it as your verbal business card. You need this to connect with those you need, to get leads and possible strike a business deal. No need to be rigid about let it flow naturally that way you will not need to memorize anything. Your perfect pitch can open doors for you and turn a baby step into a giant leap.

4. Extend, Exchange Evaluate:

You may feel that after you have that perfect pitch there may not be the need for the exchange of a business card. I have so many complimentary cards that over the years I have carefully kept. This is a deliberate act on my part because it is the only thing I have to remember the connection as well as to follow up on further building the relationship if I deem it fit. I see at networking gatherings some people give out their cards to anyone and everyone who cares to take it from them. This action needs serious caution and usually leads nowhere. The card will be discarded just as fast as it was received. At times if there is no preplanned place for these cards, they will be left on a side table at home or in the office, slowly and steadily it will begin to disappear. At times I believe it is because the real idea behind the business card is unknown. In commanding a room use your business card as follows:

  • Bring out only if you are comfortable with the person you want to give
  • Extend and exchange if you strike a chord and it is relevant
  • Endeavour to make it your point of contact and follow through
  • Acknowledge all cards you receive just as your card is being acknowledged too.
  • Leverage on your contact if and when the time arises.

5. Stand Out and Shine:

This is not the place to show off or bring attention onto yourself. It is the place to leave a good lasting memory of you.         Your contagious smile, direct eye contact, pleasant commentaries will make you stand out. Your body language, posture and positioning, will attract people to you as I always mention. Dawn a look of victory and not of defeat no matter how challenging life may be. Be quick to introduce yourself once you have assessed your environment. There is no room for slouching, sagging, skipping learn to stride with elegance and walk with charm.

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