I love reading articles in the Muse – an online resource that gives career advice. It’s always chock full of great information that not only serves you well in your professional life but also in your personal life. Recently, I read an article by Jayson Demers of Inc. who stated that confidence is harder to achieve when you are in unfamiliar situations or around people you don’t know. This is so true even if you are confident on the inside.
Here are 7 tips he shared to look to always look confident:
1. Stand Tall – When you slouch, you tend to look uncertain. So, stand tall as a folks will take you more seriously. Since I am not one for slouching (which I find to be a bad habit for your back) this tip works for me.
2. Make Eye Contact – This goes without saying that making eye contact means that you are engaged in the conversation. If you’re in a group, make sure to occasionally give eye contact to each person. If you look away, you appear to be inattentive as well as indecisive. I always give my full attention and sometimes I think when I make direct eye contact, some folks tend to feel uneasy. This simply tells me that they need to read these tips too.
3. Stay still – Fidgeting is a sure way to scream lack of confidence. I remember being in a meeting and the person next to me was fidgeting so much I had to reach out and grab their hand. I know it’s sometimes hard to do but try to remain still. By remaining still you give your full attention and your confidence increases.
4. Speak Slowly and Clearly – Nothing annoys me more than when someone speaks quickly as if they are in a race. Somehow I feel like I’m being sold to (picture a car salesman). So why not slow down and speak clearly. To me this allows time to gather your thoughts and when you speak you will appear more confident.
5. Allow for silences – There is nothing wrong with silence during a conversation. Because silence allows for consideration and shows that you’re confident in your speaking abilities. I tend to pause when I talk which gives me time to choose my words carefully.
6. Keep Your Hands Visible - Don’t go crazy with your hands all over the place. Keep them controlled and not stuffed away in your pockets or fold your arms. When you gesticulate wildly with your hands, you tend to be unfocused and your audience will lose confidence in you. I try my best to minimize my hand gestures unless it’s necessary to make a point. And even then I keep it at a minimum.
7. Take Big Steps – Don’t be in a hurry to enter, exit or move around a room. Take slow, deliberate steps as they make you look confident and people in the room will take notice of this. As for me, I tend to walk very deliberately unless the situation calls for me to do otherwise like an emergency requiring my assistance.
So go forth and enjoy the CONFIDENCE in YOU!!