I happened to be home watching Oprah. There was actress, Kristen Stewart, squirming in her chair and looking so terribly uncomfortable. The movie celeb, star of two mega hit vampire films sat with her two male co-stars and looked like she wanted to be anywhere but on that stage.
Oprah seemed determined to grill her and ask her the same types of questions she asks many of her guests. Hadn’t the producers prepped her about Kristen’s more reserved manner? If they had done even a little research they would have discovered that she is very uncomfortable in public settings and feels judged much of the time. Here is one example:
From Elle Magazine :”What’s mystifying to Stewart—and likely to anyone with either a shred of empathy or a tendency to clam up in public—is the looking- glass reality in which her manner, rather than eliciting sympathy or mere shrugs, has made her a figure of derision. “I think it’s funny that when I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them,” Stewart says. She still frets about her MTV Movie Awards appearance last year, during which she fumbled her award, a carton of golden popcorn (then blurted, “I was just about as awkward as you thought I was going to be. Bye!”…..and they were like, ‘I love how she goes up there and tries to be so serious. She is so pretentious. Why does she always try to sound so smart when she’s not smart?’ ”
Kristen – I want to offer you the 4 P’s as a tool to use to increase your confidence. Here are some tips:
Ask to review the interview questions before hand and veto those you don’t want to address. My research with introverted leaders across many fields taught me that preparation (The first “P” in the process called the 4 P’s) creates confidence. Maintain a positive presence (the 2nd “P” ) by focusing on being in the moment and not worrying about how you came across.
I thought you handled an “oh so awkward “moment well when Oprah asked you about dating your costar (especially after he made a joke and said you were pregnant!)
Use the 4th “P” push, to stay calm and act “as if “you are confident. Your acting skills will come in very handy!
And as you get more practice (the 4th “P “is Practice) there is no doubt you will manage those extroverted interviewers with ease and confidence. Most of all you will allow the real Kristen to emerge as you accept your strong, quiet self.