5 ways to exude confidence
No one feels confident 100% of the time. People have bad days or face obstacles they weren’t expecting and it can knock them off kilter. You don’t have to be confident all the time, but you can learn how to appear confident when you need to.
Confidence is not just something you have – it’s something you create. It’s a sense of certainty. It’s the feeling that you can accomplish anything that comes your way. It’s a state of mind that you can harness to help you get the results you want. If you’re not feeling confident, you don’t always have to put yourself through a pep talk to get psyched up. Instead, learn how to appear more confident simply by using your body to your advantage.
Your body language is the very first thing someone notices about you. If you have terrible posture and have your head hanging down, are people going to think you’re a confident person? No! No one looks at someone with their arms crossed over their chest and their gaze directed at the ground and thinks, “That person looks confident!” You’re not doomed if your body language is lacking; confidence is a skill that can be learned, and you can guide yourself to feel more confident by focusing on your body language.
Adjust your posture
The number one thing that makes you appear less confident? Terrible posture. Standing slumped over or with your shoulders caved in can cause you to look insincere. Instead of allowing your body to hunch over, stand up straight, hold your head up high and push your shoulders back. Additionally, when you’re speaking with someone, it helps to have your body directly facing theirs. When you’re discovering how to appear more confident, always remember to start with adjusting your posture and everything else will fall into place.
When you’re nervous, you try to relieve yourself of discomfort by fidgeting. Fidgeting can help eliminate some nerves, but it also makes you look unprofessional and uncomfortable. If you find yourself fidgeting during a new encounter or while giving a presentation, take a moment to regroup. Take a breath to help yourself relax and try to stay in the present moment. If your hands are fidgeting, place them on your lap or fold them together so they’re no longer a distraction. After repeating this several times when the urge to fidget arises, you’ll be able to resist fidgeting altogether.
Check your hands
When thinking of how to appear confident, you might consider your hands. If you’re unsure of what to do with your hands, try a simple gesture that will make you look certain in what you’re saying. The hand steeple involves placing your fingers together so they form a point. This is an excellent way to convey confidence and can be used whether you’re speaking or listening to someone else.
Work on eye contact
Eye contact lets people know you’re focusing your attention on them. However, making too much intense eye contact can be off-putting as well. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. Meet your partner’s eyes 80% of the time you’re speaking, and allow your eyes to wander the other 20%. Making solid eye contact with the person you’re speaking to makes you not only seem more confident, but friendly and empathetic as well.
Improve your handshake
It’s easy to pull inward when meeting someone new, but you’ll project a better image if you’re able to work on how to appear confident. After making contact with someone, you often shake their hand. A quality handshake can set the entire tone of your interaction. You want to grasp their hand firmly, but not too tightly. Some professionals recommend “anchoring” the handshake, or using your other hand to softly touch the person’s outstretched arm between their wrist and elbow. This displays a level of closeness and authenticity.
The physicality of confidence
Think of people like newscasters or politicians; they need to appear confident every single day so they appear knowledgeable and trustworthy. Do they wake up every day feeling completely amazing? Chances are, they have their off days, too. The key to confidence is making yourself look confident. Even if you don’t feel your best, using the above techniques will help you to project a calm, self-assured image.
These tips can also lend themselves to deep listening practices. By practicing these techniques, you will develop more confidence over time, because your confident body positioning will convey a sense of assuredness to your mind.
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