Peter shares his confidence trick
Saying I was initially struck by how cool Peter, 53, looked (the rest of his outfit was jeans and cowboy boots) may be unacceptably sexist, but it prompted a really interesting conversation about the way he dresses and how it affects the way he feels about himself. His thoughts are so familiar to me as a woman, but I’d never heard them expressed by a man before.
"When I’m relaxing, I wear Levis, a t-shirt and a hoodie and Converse or Vans sneakers. But when I’m going to a meeting, or an event, then it’s definitely important to me how I look. There are two reasons for that. One is about making an impression, but the other is about how I feel. If you feel good about the way you look - comfortable but smart, or a little bit quirky or different - then your confidence levels go up.
Although I’ve spent my career as a journalist meeting, talking to and interviewing people, and doing presentations, I am actually quite introverted. My worse nightmare is being in a room full of people I don’t know. So wearing a particular type of jacket, or tie or waistcoat which means people comment on it, automatically gives you something to talk about.
I struggle with the notion of wanting to be noticed for the right reasons
The other side of that is about being over a certain age and working in new media and digital media particularly. To get people to take you seriously, you can’t be seen as the ‘grey cardigan’. You have to have something a little bit different about you.
I think you’re always struggling with the notion of wanting to be noticed for the right reasons, and I guess women deal with that all the time. Don’t just notice me because I’ve got lovely hair or a nice figure, or dress on, notice me because I’m really smart and I can tell you some really interesting stuff. So I guess it’s part of the same thing. I don’t think men and women are all that different when it comes to this, I really don’t."
Do you agree with Peter? I’d love to know!