Confident people know how to handle uncomfortable situations to their advantage. We’ve all been there, full of nervous and anxious energy. But none of us not born confident, we all have to learn how to be confident! An aura of confidence can attract positive attention and open up new opportunities. The ‘fake it ’til you make it’ approach can give you some of these benefits right away, with real confidence hopefully following afterward.
1. Body Language
Slouching, arms folded or huddling in the corner of the room are examples of body language that reinforces and sends the message that you are nervous, submissive, and lack confidence. By folding your arms, you’re basically forming a barrier between you and the other person, telling them you don’t want to be there or talk.
So to appear more confident and in charge, think tall, stand straight, head up and be bold. Changing your posture and body language will alter the impression you make on others. But also touching people (in appropriate areas!), is also a sign of confidence. When you say goodbye, give them a gentle pat on the arm, or if you’re laughing together a light squeeze on the forearm. Don’t do this often or you’ll be too hands on. This makes you appear confident instead of shying away from the person you are interacting with.
2. Don’t fidget
Try standing with your feet at hip’s width apart. Keep your legs balanced even when you’re sitting. You’ll appear anxious if your legs are twisted around or tapping. There is nothing worse than bouncing or fidgeting around in front of someone you are trying to impress! It is a sure sign of nerves, and it will make you look unprofessional. If you fidget with your hands, keep them folded in your lap or use them to exaggerate your points when you talk. Using your hands to emphasize your points hides the fidgeting and makes you seem like you really know what you’re talking about. If you’re giving a presentation it is totally normal to be nervous and find yourself fidgeting, so try holding a prop.
3. Eye contact
Maintain eye contact while you are talking, as well as when the other person talks. But we cannot stress enough that you should never check your phone or even keep scanning the room. A lot of things to remember but if you can stick to these rules you will show confidence and interest in the people around you.
Smiling can instantly make you appear warm, friendly, approachable and more memorable. If you have trouble keeping a natural smile, just flash a brief smile and return to a more neutral expression. Laughter is another good way to display and boost confidence, when appropriate.
5. Create a confident mentality
Try not to think about previous mistakes as this can trigger lack of confidence. Remember that every mistake is an opportunity to learn how to improve next time. Everyone, no matter how confident or presentable they may be, makes mistakes. It is how you deal with them that really matters in the long run.