Are you planning to give a presentation, attend an important event, or lead a business initiative? When you walk into any of these scenarios, your goal should be to project confidence and draw people in. However, we know that feeling confident, or at least appearing confident, is often easier said than done. What some may not know is that incorporating a few minor adjustments can make a big difference in appearing more confident and winning your audience over. Check out these 5 simple tips to project confidence like a pro.
1. Embrace your nerves
If you’re the type of person that walks into a room and feels uneasy in front of a large audience, you’re not alone. Keep in mind that self-doubt and low confidence ultimately affects your performance and, in some cases, exacerbates your nerves. But trust us! No matter how calm people may seem, many still experience the feeling of nervousness.
It’s how you manage your nerves that impacts your demeanor. When you start to feel nervous, just tell yourself this is normal. Chances are that all the people around you are also nervous, and you’re not the only one. Take a deep breath to center yourself and focus on the task at hand. Then move on when you’re ready. When you are able to accept and manage your nerves, it will no longer be an obstacle to you, and instead allow you the focus you need to be more confident.
2. Dress to impress
Looking your best makes you feel your best. When you feel your best your chances of successfully projecting confidence are more likely! We’re not saying you have to look like a supermodel or a Hollywood star. But, putting some effort into cleaning up and wearing something that makes you look good and feel comfortable, will allow your audience to focus on you and your presence in the room.
3. Make eye contact
Making eye contact with another individual signals to them that you are saying something important. In a situation where you might be delivering a speech, this is a simple way to command the room and the audience’s attention. If you struggle making eye contact with others, a good first step is to try practicing with your close friends, family or trusted colleague. Remembering to smile (when appropriate) also makes eye contact easier. Try looking at each other for five seconds, then ten seconds, then to the point where you can maintain eye contact for an entire sentence or two. You will start to feel more comfortable making eye contact with others by practicing at every opportunity.
4. Work on posture
Your posture has an affect on how others perceive you, and has a powerful impact on how one projects emotion. You may notice that you tend to round your shoulders and look downwards when you’re feeling insecure. Or, by contrast, you may notice you stand tall when you’re feeling confident and proud. A study conducted by Amy Cuddy on power poses demonstrated that even if you may not feel confident, practicing good posture and power posing can influence your brain and emotions to feel more confident. Next time you need to project confidence I challenge you to stand up tall and power-pose!
When our body language is confident and open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us but also our perception of ourselves.Amy Cuddy, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
5. Set small and reachable goals
Confidence builds and compounds from each of your accomplishments. Therefore, it is very important to take a step back and acknowledge the wins you experience to help boost your confidence. Often, people make the mistake of setting large, ambitious goals that they cannot easily reach. As a result they are too hard on themselves and lose confidence.
We recommend setting several small reachable goals, completing them, and reflecting on your journey of accomplishment. Grab a notebook today and record three small goals that you can achieve within the week. At the end of the month, you’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time!
Ultimately, projecting confidence is not something you’ll learn to do overnight. It’s a process that involves both emotional and physical focus, as well as lots of practice. It may be hard to incorporate these 5 tips all at once, so take it one by one. Pick a tip that you feel will be the easiest for you to implement, and then move on to try another. You will eventually see that projecting confidence is not as difficult as you thought, and you’ll soon have your opportunity to shine!
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