Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coalville Stake YW Charm School

We had a wonderful adventure last night in Coalville. The YW leaders invited me to come give a one-night "Charm School" for the YW of their Stake. I was expecting maybe 50 YW, and we had more than 100 attend! We had so much fun learning to walk in high heels and be gracious. It was SO fun! I hope I get to go back again some time. Those YW are amazing. I promised them I'd post an "ugly duckling" picture of myself in 7th grade, which I will do as soon as Trent scans it. But for now, here are the tips on dressing and walking in heels from last night, as well as a picture of everyone (I'm in the middle in a black shirt).

Think of one person who everyone loves to hang out with. This is someone makes everyone feel good, someone who brings joy into the room when she walks in. Give me some words to describe this person. People who make others comfortable have grace and poise.

You can be the person that everyone loves to be with. Want to know the secret? Make others around you feel comfortable. Smile, eye contact, dress and act appropriately.

Want to be that person? The first step is to build your own confidence and put others at ease. How?

Attitude and Conversation:
1. Always give eye contact and smile when you are talking to people.
2. Be positive. Find something good to say to everyone you talk to.
3. Ask thoughtful questions to encourage others to talk about themselves. Avoid asking opinions about other people. This will make others worry that you’re talking behind their backs, too.
4. Listen twice as much as you talk. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. When you let other people talk, you show them they are important.
5. Match your conversation partner’s tone of voice. If she’s excited, be excited. If she’s quiet, speak quietly. Let the other person set the tone of the beginning of a conversation.
6. Don’t put anyone down…including yourself! Give sincere compliments without giving a reason or putting yourself down to do it.
7. Say thank you and accept compliments.

Now for your appearance. Ever walked into a party or event totally under or overdressed? I have. It’s hard. So…
1. Choose your clothes carefully. This is not to impress people, but to make others feel comfortable around you. Make sure your clothes and shoes are appropriate for the occasion. For example, don’t wear high heels and a pencil skirt if you’re going golfing or bowling. Don’t wear ripped jeans to a formal dance. Your goal is to be comfortable in your surroundings.
2. Wear the right shoes. Will you be standing all day, or will you be sitting most of the evening? How long can you comfortably walk or stand in your shoes? Do you need to chase little kids? Will you be lifting or carrying anything? Will your shoes get wet or muddy? You don’t want to be worried about your shoes.
3. Ever been accidentally “flashed”? How did it make you feel? Make sure you’re “covered.” Reach up, touch your toes, bend over, sit down. Think about getting in and out of a car. If you are exposed, you may not notice but others will…and that makes other people uncomfortable. If you’re not covered, add layers or change outfits.
4. Be clean and well-groomed. You don’t have to cake on the makeup, or make sure every hair is perfect. You are beautiful. Whether you shine best in natural beauty or in full makeup and accessories, show that you can take care of yourself. Shine!

Now that you have the right clothes for your situation, you need to know how to hold yourself in those clothes.
1. Stand up straight
2. Shoulders back
3. Smile!
Walking in a dress
1. Stand up straight
2. Shoulders back
3. Limit your stride based on your skirt cut
4. Be careful bending over or squatting!
Walking in heels takes muscles!! You’ll be sore in your abs, legs, and feet
How To Walk in Heels:
1. Abs in
2. Stand up straight
3. Shoulders back
4. Weight on the ball of your feet (use the heel as a balance, not a walking surface)
5. One foot in front of the next
6. Swing your hips
7. Keep knees soft
Walking down stairs:
1. Eyes up, abs in, stand tall, bend knees
2. Stay on the ball of your foot (may need diagonal foot placement on the stair)
3. Float down the stairs slowly, controlled movement
Sitting in a dress/skirt
1. Back of legs touch the front of the chair
2. Lower yourself down
3. Sit forward, slide back
4. Legs together (think of a “code word” to remind each other)
5. Tuck in skirt

Hope this is a good refresher! Thanks, Coalville, for having me!