Confidence. It’s a powerful tool in the business world and is sought after by many. Don’t we all secretly want to be that person who appears to fear nothing? Who speaks in front of hundreds of spectators without breaking a sweat? That person who never seems to doubt themselves, who can stand tall and proud when completing any difficult task they are given. As a bit of an introvert myself, I can definitely confess I envy the most confident amongst us.

But the good news is, we’re not born with a finite level of confidence. Over our lifespan, our confidence waxes and wanes, and most importantly, can be built back up. 

On Thursday the 9th of April, Choreographer and Movement & Communication Coach, Emma Zangs, will be hosting a webinar all about activating confidence. Part of Hethel Innovation’s webinar series during the Covid-19 outbreak, Emma’s webinar will be one of many online events aimed to address mental health and its effects, particularly relevant while social distancing. 

Emma Zangs, Movement & Communication Coach

Before joining Emma on Thursday from 10 to 11 am for her expert webinar, read her tips below on how to build confidence.

Tip #1 Don’t Fake It To Make It

It’s a maxim we’ve all heard- if you fake being confident, you’ll appear confident and this path will lead to success. But as Emma explains, this approach can actually alienate the very people you are trying to display your confidence to. By pretending to be someone you are not, you run the risk of losing your authenticity. And authenticity is a vital component to being an effective team leader.

Tip #2 Showing Vulnerability Can Be a Good Thing

When thinking of stereotypical business people who emit confidence, our minds often land on an alpha type, individuals who are dominant and charismatic. In real life, however, confidence comes in many forms and guises. You could even argue that showing vulnerability is in itself a sign of strength. Afterall, it takes a confident person to remove the facade and show that they, like everyone else, are human. 

On a social level, displaying true vulnerability can have benefits. ‘If a public speaker, for example, comes over as slightly vulnerable but is being themselves, it will generate more empathy among listeners’ explains Emma. 


Tip #3 Film Yourself To Become Aware of Your Habits

Whether you are an over-exaggerated hand mover, cougher, restless jigger or find your voice rising in intonation at the end of your sentences, many of us have little habits that creep up on us when we get nervous. ‘Although it may be initially cringeworthy to watch, by filming ourselves we gain insight into how we come across to others. Seeing yourself outwardly allows you to analyse what works already, see what improvements can be made and lets you spot unconscious bad habits that may distract people from the messages you are trying to communicate’. 

Tip #4 Calm Your Body Through Controlled Breathing and Mindfulness

The key to controlling our nerves and promoting confidence within us is understanding what is happening to our body when we feel anxiety. It all involves our autonomic nervous system which activates our sympathetic system, known to many of us as our ‘fight or flight’ response. Although our fight or flight response has been vital to our survival evolutionarily (it’s what makes us take action against danger), it can be unhelpful when we want to present ourselves as confident and in control. If you think about it, if we can’t control our own bodies, will our colleagues or clients feel confident in trusting us to manage them?

To reverse this, Emma recommends breathing and mindfulness techniques to help us limit our fight or flight response by instead activating our parasympathetic system. It is the parasympathetic system which slows down our movements and makes us feel calmer. One way to activate this alternative, more relaxing response is by becoming mentally grounded in our environment. By being conscious of how it feels for our feet to touch the ground, how the weight of our body feels, how we are drawing our breath in and out, we can pull our awareness away from our scattered thoughts and into a physical, grounding space. 


Tip #5 Different Ways to Activate Confidence Works for Different People

As with many things in life, what works for one person may not work for others. The wise words or technique that makes it all click and helps to activate our confidence will be different for everyone. It is because of this that makes coaching so invaluable. 

‘With all the training I deliver, it is important for me to allow space for honesty, authenticity and openness with one another. With the new situations we are all in due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is of the essence in order for each one of us to find our own grounds and build confidence’ says Emma. ‘During my webinar, I will invite attendees to reflect on how they feel right now and will go through exercises that they can do daily to deal better with stress. Attendees should expect to participate and leave the session with small actions they can take. I hope to give everyone the opportunity to share with others as it is a crucial time now to be heard and held by the community’.

Join Emma Zang’s webinar on Thursday the 9th of April at 10am by booking your place at: