10 secrets to projecting confidence, even when you feel the opposite

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

When it comes to distinguishing yourself as an entrepreneur and expanding your business, the ability to communicate your skills, expertise and experience with confidence is essential. To succeed, you'll need to project confidence as part of your personal brand in meetings with clients, pitches to investors and even in conversations with your team.

However, there are bound to be instances when you feel less than confident. Perhaps you are in a position that requires skills you don't have yet, or you are inexperienced compared to your coworkers.  Maybe you are new in the business and worried about your ability to succeed or anxious about judgments. And at times negative peer interactions, especially if there is a pack mentality, can undermine confidence. 

The good news is that you can level up your self-image and self-confidence, even in times where you feel uncertain and doubt yourself. Doing so will have a domino effect in that the more confidence you project, the more people will react in kind. We have recapped 10 research-based tips for boosting self-confidence in times where you are feeling the opposite.

How to project confidence:

Keep your head high

Your perceived confidence is mostly determined by your posture and body language. Standing tall with your shoulders back and hands at your sides, or sitting in a steady posture is preferable. According to studies, good posture can improve your internal dialogue and make you feel better about yourself.

Stay focused

Confidence is the outcome of persistent good work mixed with a positive outlook. You need to keep your focus on yourself. Regardless of workplace gossip and politics, concentrate on your accomplishing your goals. 

Maintain your composure

If you are anxious or flustered in the heat of the moment, it reflects insecurity. Strive to appear as calm as possible, and if your hands are shaking, keep them steady or hide them from view. Maintain a slow, calm and controlled tone in your voice, and avoid gestures that make you look worried or excited. The tone of your voice has a significant impact on how people perceive your words.

Believe in yourself

When you actually believe in yourself, and what you are saying, it's a lot easier to appear confident. Before any presentation or meeting, do your homework and come prepared with a few points about which you are completely certain. If you don't know the answer to a question, rather than making something up on the spot, just admit it.

Develop a positive attitude 

You need to adopt an optimistic mindset. Positive does not always imply happiness; it can also imply resilience. Rather than spending a lot of time contemplating or discussing a problem, concentrate on how you can offer solutions.

Capitalize on strengths and work on weaknesses

Make a list of your strengths and use them to your advantage. Getting clear on your strengths and finding ways to integrate them into your daily routine is one of the best ways to gain confidence. Similarly, identify your flaws and attempt to improve them. Make a plan to lessen or eradicate any weaknesses that are impacting your confidence. You shouldn't obsess over it, but you should be aware that acknowledging your weaknesses and making a concerted effort to overcome them might help you gain confidence.

Dress well

You need to make a good first impression. People tend to perceive those who dress well as more capable and confident. It's a sign that you care about how you look and helps you project authority. Make sure that your clothes fit properly, understand the dress code for whatever setting you might find yourself in and avoid being overdressed.

Keep an eye on your body language

Watch your body language as even minor adjustments might have a major impact on how others view your self-assurance. Body movements like tapping your foot or jiggling your leg, may make you appear worried and insecure, even if you aren't feeling that way. The golden rule is to always face your listeners and make eye contact on a regular basis so that you look more confident.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

Social proof might also influence your confidence level. Depending on the scenario, you may want to bring a group of individuals with you who support your views and statements and are always ready to back you up when needed.

Ask for feedback

The best way to receive feedback is to give speeches and presentation to friends, peers or individuals you trust to see whether they perceive you as confident. If they don't, know what needs to be done differently. You may discover if there is a certain attribute or tic that might be jeopardizing your confidence level. Ask people about your strengths, and in which areas they recommend you focus more. Others may point out skills you don’t even recognize you possess.


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