Confidence is one of the most important traits we can have, and it’s often lauded as being the key to promotions, good grades and general success in life.
Various studies have found that confidence at work can lead to more promotions, but an interesting University of Melbourne pilot study suggests a link between confidence levels in primary school and workplace success in adulthood. Another study notes that students who receive an expression of confidence in their ability – even while receiving criticism – perform better than those told to ‘aim for higher standards.’
But confidence can seem elusive, particularly when you’ve got an important presentation or event coming up.
Though we often think about ‘becoming confident’ as a long-term process, there are plenty of small changes you can make immediately. What’s more, simply appearing self-assured becomes self-reinforcing and can give you a confidence boost.
So what does it look like in practice? Physically, think about your posture. Studies show that being hunched up makes you seem more nervous, while standing tall and making open gestures shows that you’re relaxed and projects confidence and authority.
When speaking, slow down to what might feel like a snail’s pace – it will sounds normal to everyone else – and stay away from words like ‘um’ and ‘er.’ We often don’t realize how much we use filler phrases, but avoiding them makes you appear more articulate, promoting confidence in what you’re saying.
Of course, these aren’t the only tricks you can use. We’ve put together a list of 10 easy ways you can appear more confident. Give them a try to see how they can make that important meeting or interview run just a bit smoother.
Noel, K. (2016) 8 body language tricks to instantly appear more confident. businessinsider.com
Furnham, A. (2014) The secrets of eye contact, revealed. Psychologytoday.com
Nussbaum, R. (2015) Listen up! 8 changes to sound more confident. greatist.com
Oppelt, E. (2015) Projecting your voice without yelling. theatrefolk.com
Mayne, D. (2017) 7 tips on proper handshake etiquette. thespruce.com
Cuddy, A. (2012) Your body language may shape who you are. ted.com
Rezvani, S. (2014) Four ways to stop saying “um” and other filler words. forbes.com
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