Appearing confident is much different than necessarily being confident.
So often we think we have to always have the perfect words or we stress about what others we’re speaking with or to will think of us. We get ourselves in such a tizzy about it, that we forget something simple. They can’t read our minds. But they can read our faces, bodies and spoken words. Control those, and the panic in your mind can go undetected! Here are some simple, savvy ways to do that:
- For goodness sake… STOP saying “um”. Don’t believe me? Start counting every time you pause and say “um” in a conversation. Every time you do, you lose a piece of your audience’s interest. Worse, you often lose a piece of credibility. All I can think is, “Why would I believe this person knows what they are talking about when they pause to say “um,” over and over?” This could be when speaking to a theater full of people, a room or simply a conversation with another person. Once, I was in a conversation and I lost count at the 60th “um” from the other person. No. Joke. If you need to pause to catch up with your thoughts or think of a fitting word… just pause. No need for the humming filler sound that distracts from your message.
- Look at the person you’re speaking to. It’s easy to fiddle with objects in your hands, the floor, others passing by. If you want that person to feel your presence, look at them and turn your shoulders towards them. Often this will become habit if we are conscious of it in moments we feel we may be lacking some confidence.
- Practice. My practice space is the car but yours could be the shower, while you’re getting ready in the morning, on your evening jog, anywhere you’re alone and somewhat quiet. This works best in moments you are anticipating a bit of anxious or nervousness in your delivery. For example, lets say I know I have to tell my team at work some news they may not love. I could easily crumble and sound super weak and unsure. But, if I practice different ways to word it and ways I can respond to different reactions, I feel a bit more self-assured walking confidently into that situation. The key here is you have to be willing to practice aloud. Yes, its ridiculous looking, but it helps if you can hear yourself and the way things sound.
- Use an essential oil that can help boost feelings of confidence. I often use oils such as Wild Orange or Bergamot on the daily for these benefits, but you can also apply them also for a special circumstances when you could benefit from some uplifting. Learn more about essential oils here.
- Smile. Smile like a southern pageant queen taking the stage… win or lose. You ever notice, they smile either way? Practice that kind of game face. No matter how awkward, uncomfortable or down-right weird the conversation or situation gets, just smile. People will feel like you have some sense of calm or control still, even if it’s all a facade.
Mostly, remember that confidence is all in perception. The more you know about the people around you, the better you can gauge how they’ll perceive you and your confidence. Get to know those you come into contact with often. And if you’re trying to impress strangers… fake it ’til you make it. You got this!
Go Be Brave, Friends!