I’ve been writing a lot about confidence over the past few weeks. “Can Women Be Confident and Elegant” and “10 Myths About Confidence” have both been really popular articles with readers of the Executive Impressions blog. I encourage you to click on the above links if you haven’t yet read these articles.
It seems that confidence is a topic many people are curious about. It’s that all elusive quality that has the power to move you from where you are now, to where you want to be.
But confidence is also the quality many of us assume we should naturally have. When you see powerful businesswomen walk through the office corridors, or authoritative businessmen immediately command attention when they walk into a room, you might assume they were born that way. You might even hear yourself say, “I could never be that confident, I wasn’t born like that”.
But despite what you may think, confidence isn’t something you’re born with; it’s something you learn. Those confident looking business people you see walking through the corridors have learned how to project confidence. You can too. Below I want to share with you some confidence training tips that are pulled directly from my signature “Look, Act, and Sound” programs to get you started.
1. Dress to Look Confident
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” @execimpressions (Click to Tweet this) . Many people tend to organise their professional wardrobe to suit the role they currently have in a company. While this might make you feel part of the team, it can work against you if you’re up for a promotion or trying to get noticed for more senior roles. If you want your boss or colleagues to see you as “leadership material”, you’ll need to dress more like the businessperson you aspire to be.
- For women, try adding bolder colours to your outfit, such as a green jacket, vibrant scarf, or a pair of red shoes (which I love with black pants and a black top).
- For men, you might want to invest in a quality crisp white shirt or dedicate more time to your overall grooming.
When dressing to look confident, the changes might be simple, but the results can be drastic. Consider it to be an investment into your future.
2. Use Body Language to Act Confident
When you’re aiming for a confident image whether in your professional or social life, your body language is the most important area to focus on. When I work with clients who want to learn concrete skills to appear more confident, I explain that body language is critical because it not only affects the way others see you, but it also impacts the way you feel about yourself. Using confident body language ignites what I like to call the “virtuous circle of confidence”.
Here’s a couple of areas you can focus on if you want to jump start your own virtuous circle of confidence:
- Be sure to look others in the eye. When you’re talking to others at meetings, networking events, or even via video conferencing, maintaining eye contact will make you look decisive, self-assured, and confident. One tip that always works when trying to establish good eye contact, is to identify the pattern of colours in the other person’s eyes.
- Maintain good posture. Your posture is at the core of all confident body language. “It’s impossible to look or feel confident if you’re slouching” @execimpressions (Click to Tweet this). Make sure your shoulders are pushed back, and don’t look down at the ground when you’re walking down the street.
3. Adapt Your Voice to Sound Confident
Your voice is the last area to focus on for a confident image. If you’ve already won confidence points through your outfit and your body language, you don’t want to ruin all your hard work by sounding hesitant or insecure when you speak. In Look, Act, and Sound Like a Confident BusinessWoman and Look, Act, and Sound Like a Confident BusinessMan, the last session is dedicated to your voice and clients learn how to use their voice to add impact to their ideas and opinions. Here’s some tips I share in this session:
- Eliminate the upswing. “The upswing always makes you sound insecure and unsure” @execimpressions (Click to Tweet this) about what you’re saying. You can easily eliminate it by making a conscious effort to push down your intonation down at the end of your statements. In other words, don’t make your statement sound like a question. If you’re not sure what the upswing is, I’ve written a previous blog post about it which you can access here.
- Slow down and pause. Speaking fast and never taking a break is only going to overwhelm the other person, and make you look nervous. To achieve the poise and calm that confident looking people carry, make a conscious effort to slow down your speech and pause every now and then. Not sure when to pause? Try a 2 second pause at the end of an important point or statement.
With enough time and research, all of the above tips can be implemented to make you appear more confident around others. But if you want to fast-track your confidence learning, I invite you to enrol in my virtual coaching programs, Look, Act, and Sound Like a Confident BusinessWoman or Look, Act, and Sound Like a Confident BusinessMan. Click on the images below to find out more. I would love to work with you.