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12 Success Lessons From A Nun’s Killer Audition On The Voice

12 Success Lessons From A Nun’s Killer Audition On The Voice

On one rare occasion, a nun joined The Voice and she set the stage on fire.

The Nun Competing On Italy's Version Of "The Voice" Is Officially Knocking It Out The Park

    She bombarded the platform with grit and talent, and when they turned around, oh boy… …all four judges’ jaws dropped! Their mouths flung wide open, and, you just knew they said–AAhhh… Why, they couldn’t believe what they saw.

    The Nun Competing On Italy's Version Of "The Voice" Is Officially Knocking It Out The Park

      Oh yes, she wowed the audience, too. She got a standing ovation right on the first line of her song. No wonder, her YouTube video went viral almost instantly garnering nearly 25 million views upon hitting the Web.

      Of course, her fellow nuns cheered for joy when they saw all the judges’ chairs turned!

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      The Nun Competing On Italy's Version Of "The Voice" Is Officially Knocking It Out The Park

        With Sister Cristina Scuccia’s killer audition, The Voice will never be the same again. First, it’s the first time that a true blue nun joined the show, ever. Second, she absolutely nailed the auditions.

        The Nun Competing On Italy's Version Of "The Voice" Is Officially Knocking It Out The Park

          Due to this spectacular event, Lifehack wants to explore the lessons you can learn from it.

          The Nun Competing On Italy's Version Of "The Voice" Is Officially Knocking It Out The Park

            You can watch the killer audition here:

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            Who says you can’t grab some success lessons from a talent search show? You can! Here they are:

            #1. Be true to yourself – Be who you are; don’t pretend to be somebody else. Sister Cristina wore the uniform of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family when she sang, and this added up to her appeal. She could have worn flashy clothes like the other contenders, but that would have made her look like everybody else. And that could have gotten her minus points instead of plus points.

            • Never be afraid of showing your true colors.

            #2. Stand out from the crowd – Because she wore a religious habit, she has differentiated herself from the rest of the contestants. This decision made her stood out from the crowd.

            • Whatever your line, you can get closer to success once you can identify what separates you from your countless competitors. The earlier you can do this, the better. Upon realizing that special quality that sets you apart, the closer you’ll get to reaching your goals.

            #3. Use startling contrast to make an impact – she did not sing a religious piece, or something from a well known opera, a ballad, or any classical number, she has chosen an upbeat song by Alicia Keys. The stark contrast brought about by her personality and the type of her audition piece engrossed the crowd and the judges no end.

            • Use contrast effectively in your career. It works.

            #4. Deliver the goods – She has the essentials. She delivered the goods once she hit the stage. She sang up a storm, she’s got the moves, and she hit the high notes with ease. Even if she could not cover the first 3 lessons (just in case), because of her singing chops, without a doubt, she’s in and she’s surely a star in the making; being trained by a big name, former rapper, J-Ax.

            • Whatever industry you belong to, the most important factor is: you deliver the goods. Give what your customers need, and you’ll succeed.

            #5. Use novelty – They have never seen a nun perform on The Voice before. By this fact alone, the impact was huge!

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            • No matter what business you’re in, or career you maintain, novelty can help. Always come up with fresh ideas; they always make wonders. Heck, they even bring in fresh moola.

            #6. An element of surprise goes a long way – Everyone was surprised to see someone garbed in a black religious habit with a silver cross performing a hit song on The Voice.

            • Take the cue–surprise your customers, your audience, or your company. It will surely go a long, long way.

            #7. Dogged Determination – Based on what Sister Cristina has shown on stage, she undeniably has the determination to pursue what she wants. She took her vows as a nun, yet she continues to pursue her passion for singing.

            • Develop strong determination to fulfill your dreams. Tell yourself, no matter what, you will keep on reaching for your goals until you’ll succeed.

            #8. Focusing on what is essential  The voice is otherwise known as “The blind auditions”. You don’t need anyone to tell you that the main thing the show is looking for is: superb singing ability. The nun has it; actually, she got tons of it. And that’s enough. Also, it’s implied, looks is not essential. It’s immaterial; however, in this case, her looks during the round of auditions subsequently enhanced her appeal.

            • Relating this to running a business, or nurturing a career, focusing on the essentials is paramount to your success. Although, a bit of other elements can spice things up, and sometimes can make way for a speedier route to success.

            #9. Preparation – With her stellar performance, it’s obvious, she had serious preparation. Based from the research we have done, Sister Cristina Scuccia sings regularly in church and has performed in other TV shows several times. This experience has prepared her thoroughly for the nerve-wracking auditions on The Voice. Besides, her amazing performance points to an evident and serious preparation.

            • In any kind of endeavor, preparation paves the way for excellent execution of steps towards attaining ideals.

            #10. Practice makes perfect – One of my favorite quotes is:

            “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle.

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            She practiced singing everyday since primary school. She continued on and intensified her routine prior to hitting the stage of The voice.

            • Practice pays. Her performance is a proof.

            #11. Have a noble goal – When ask why she joined The voice — she replied, she was there to evangelize.

            • A noble goal will catapult you to higher levels of success. It will drive you to perform much better. A smaller scale goal will not have the same impact.

            #12. Believe you can be victorious – She believes she has a gift and that she wants to share it with all of us. She believes she can sing otherwise she would not take great efforts to join the competition. She believes she can win, in fact, she told the TV audience, whoever will turn around first, that will be the judge she will choose. So, all along she believed she could be victorious.

            • Likewise in your business, or chosen career, believe that you can succeed, and you will.

            Featured photo credit: Sister Cristina Scuccia via catholicnewsagency.com

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            Anthony Dejolde

            TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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            Last Updated on January 15, 2021

            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

            The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

            Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

            Posture

            First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

            • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
            • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
            • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
            • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

            All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

            Facial Expressions

            Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

            • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
            • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
            • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

            If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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            1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

            A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

            The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

            This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

            2. Relax Your Face

            New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

            The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

            To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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            3. Improve Your Eye Contact

            Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

            The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

            To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

            3. Smile More

            There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

            Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

            4. Hand Gestures

            Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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            It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

            5. Enhance Your Handshake

            In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

            “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

            It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

            6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

            As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

            Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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            Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

            Final Takeaways

            Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

            If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

            More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

            Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

            Reference

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