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There’s no single, black-and-white version of you.There are many facets to your persona and you can (and should) pick and choose which aspects of your life to bring to the forefront of conversation based on who you are speaking with.That was the main takeaway from last night’s “Support Superheroes”, a monthly meetup group organized by Helpshift.

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Zuora Vice President of Customer Support & Community, Marlene Summers, spoke about the different ways to represent yourself, and how to cater your persona to your audience. Summers is an avid cyclist, an industry executive, and a proud mother of four (in addition to having many other impressive qualities.) This was the launching point for her presentation, and her three main takeaways are as follows.

1. Know your audience: When meeting new cyclists on the road, Summers presents herself as an experienced cyclist and business person first and foremost to get her foot in the door. That’s because she knows these qualities and experiences are what her fellow cyclists will relate to, and they will become more comfortable as a result. This paves the path to camaraderie and future success.

Being able to customize your “story” with different versions of yourself depending on who you are speaking with, whether it’s with colleagues or customers, is an excellent leadership quality and something that can come in very handy when dealing with different customers.

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2. Mind your body language: Your body language says a lot about who you are and how much confidence you have. Even if you are just having a conversation on the phone, having good posture makes a physiological, noticeable difference in your presentation and how you come off to others. Summers suggests incorporating the “power pose” (standing tall with your arms up high and wide) in order to project confidence, and well, power.

3. Practice makes perfect: Being able to adapt to different situations and audiences is a skill, one that is not easily achieved overnight. Plan out how you want to highlight the best parts of yourself in front of different types of people, especially if you are presenting in a meeting or to a customer. And before your next big introduction, don’t forget to “power pose!”

Published March 23, 2017
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