The Secrets To Being A Confident Leader

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As soon as you start talking, the people in the room with you are decoding not just what you’re saying but how you’re saying it. Nobody’s going to buy what you’re selling if you’re constantly touching your hair or nervously shifting from one foot to the other, likewise in a meeting or a presentation you need to know how to get people’s attention.

1. Work on your body language first 

The most confident person in the room is usually sitting with their spine straight and their body language open. If you’re standing, do the same. Point your feet forward and keep your back as straight as possible. Slouching and bad posture are the first things people will notice, and it will change their reception of what you’re saying.

2. Think about what you’re saying 

Most of the time it’s about cutting the crap and talking with confidence. People think to sound smarter they have to use clichés and large words. The problem comes when you and your audience aren’t too sure of their meaning.

Don’t rely on verbal fillers to keep the conversational floor either, using “umm” and “err” is a normal part of our speech but if you want to deliver a confident speech, sometimes it’s better to have a few seconds of silence to form your words.

3. Speak slowly and evenly 

Project your voice but don’t shout or dominate. Speaking slowly (but not too slowly!) and evenly gives others the impression that you are not in a rush to get your point across and that you’re confident that they need to hear what you’re saying.

4. Avoid ‘uptalk’ 

We all do this. Uptalk is when the intonation in your voice rises at the end of a sentence, making it seem like a question. Only use this for actual questions, keeping a measured voice will keep your audience listening.

Remember you don’t want to dominate the floor unless you’re giving a presentation or a speech, asking others questions about themselves or their line of work and engaging them is a good way to make connections.

5. Welcome criticism and questions 

A closed leader is one that thinks they are always right and is annoyed by feedback and criticism. There are appropriate times for feedback, and you should welcome it in order to grow. Ask people how you could improve and take it on board.

It’s all about holding yourself accountable!

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Beth

Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Camille Beygui

    Great post
    Xoxo
    http://fashionbackyard.blogspot.fr

  • Caitlin

    Great post – especially the tip on uptalk. I never thought of that before but I definitely do it all the time! Also, love your photo choice for the post! There’s no woman who exemplifies an intelligent, confident woman quite like Olivia Pope!

  • Lex MG

    Oh bless you dear concise author. i find “uptalk” SOOOOooo annoying when it’s not a true question. Actually, I didn’t even know it was called uptalk ! hmmm…did you invent that ? Anyway, i disagree that we all do that; it seems to me to be mostly young americans that do it. I bet there’s probably some linguists’ phd thesis about it, but this is the first time i read about it. This education needs a wider audience.

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