Speaking Well About Yourself with LB Adams

Speaker Summary written by Adriana Richardson, AVAS

Did you know women make up most of the population? 51% to be exact. Since women make up most of the population, it would make sense that women make up most of the leadership positions. Wrong. Out of the whole world, 38% of those leaders were women. In the United States, women make up less than 25% of leadership positions.

Our host, LB Adams, led the event with these statistics. It left the room thinking about why was this the case. Another face we looked into included a study describing men and women in business. We noticed that men were often praised while women were often criticized in the business world. While this was not new, we began to dig a little deeper. Why was it that men were seen at a higher pedestal, while women had to work hard just to get noticed? Why did it seem as though men had a higher confidence level, while women “hid” in the shadows?

Before starting into the main topics, we went into the why. What was the main point of the event and why did it come about. LB stated that having a daughter opened her eyes to how she spoke about herself. We, as women, tend to be hard on ourselves. When we have children, they tend to mimic what they hear us say and do. It was then that she realized that she needed to be more positive to herself and other women.

After this, we went into the fun part. Why were women so hard on themselves? Why do men seem to have all the confidence in the world? How can we change this? As LB mentioned before, there are three steps a person must take to build confidence and speak well about themselves.

  1. Confidence/Competence: A basic way of understanding this was men are normally more confident and they necessarily don’t have to be severely competent in a subject. The exact opposite is for women. Women are normally more competent while they shrink when it comes to confidence. How can this be fixed?

    • We need to rethink the words we use and how we use them. Turn it into something positive.

    • Omit justifying language whether it is verbal, non-verbal, or written.

      • Example: “I just...” I’m sorry, but...” it dilutes the message. Just get straight to the point. Some forms of non-verbal justifying language include standing behind an object and “hiding” in a corner.

    • We need to own the space. Make our presence known. Declare the spot.

  2. Accept Praise and Accountability

    • This is self-explanatory. Just say thank you and shut the h*ll up.

    • We often dilute the message by saying “thank you, but..”. Cut it out!

  3. Say What You Are Good At: We took a break here and did an exercise. We had to come up with three positive sentence to describe ourselves. It couldn't deal with other people.

    • Examples: No sentences like “I’m a good mother,” “I’m a great friend” etc. After these exercises, we went over the final tip on learning to speak well about ourselves.

    • A+/- A+/- A+/- A+/- A+/- =/= B : To put it in words, Assured, Adamant, Audacious, Assertive, and Aggressive does not make you a “B*tch”. It is okay to be these things and not be viewed as less than.

We wrapped up the event feeling much better about ourselves and feeling positive. Another tip we left with was to not work in the mirror. Instead, do a recording. You can be more mindful of your actions that way and practice.

A very special thank you to Beth Sansone of Office Evolution Charleston for allowing us to use the space. Another thank you goes to Andrea Johnson of DP Sweet Moments Desserts for the yummy dessert samples! A big thank you to LB Adams of Practical Dramatics for giving up some of her Thursday evening to talk to us!

If you want to learn more about LB, be sure to follow her page on Facebook @Practical Dramatics!

Melissa Barker