No one quite feels confident all of the time, but sometimes you need to appear confident. You might be on a date, have a job interview, or attending a company function. There are times it can be helpful to appear confident, even if you’re feeling anything but.
There are plenty of things you can do to appear confident. In my practice, I have seen clients and have worked with them on building their confidence with their communication with others. As you work on your confidence, you will slowly but surely build and boost your boardroom confidence.
Why is it important for women to have confidence in the boardroom?
Confidence is necessary to carry you forward in any business transaction. When people feel our confidence flow through they feel like they can take you seriously. You are someone they can rely on and give their full attention to. Your confidence speaks to them! It is telling them to take you seriously because you know what you are talking about. You are that expert on the topic they were looking for and looking to partner with.
Here are some tips used in empowerment coaching to provide you with the boardroom confidence needed to convince your colleagues you’re confident, even if you’re shaking in your boots:
- Maintain good eye contact. Consider where confident people look while you’re engaged in a conversation with them. They aren’t looking at their feet or gazing around the room. They look you in the eye. This isn’t a staring contest, but look the other person in the eye the majority of the time.
- Stand or sit up straight. Confident people don’t slouch. Stand tall and proud. The same goes for sitting. People that lack confidence slouch and try to appear as small as possible. Be tall and make people notice.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. This will reduce fidgeting. Showing your hands also shows confidence. Keep your hands where others can see them.
- Avoid fidgeting. Your hands don’t have to be in your pockets to fidget. Avoid picking at your clothes, your face, or your hands. This is a sure sign of nervousness.
- You’re happy and confident, so smile. Smiling puts others at ease. It puts you at ease, too.
- Walk confidently. Watch movies to see how a confident person walks. Take purposeful strides. Look like you have someplace to go without looking like you need to get there in a hurry.
- Speak slowly. Does James Bond speak quickly? No. He takes his time and enjoys the attention. Confident people have been shown to speak more slowly than the average person. Nervous people tend to speak more quickly. Slow down and take your time. People will assume you’re confident.
- Unfold your arms. When you fold your arms, it looks like you’re trying to protect yourself. There’s nothing to fear, so unfold your arms, be tall, and smile. Just allow your arms to hang naturally by your side.
- Keep your head up.There’s nothing interesting going on down on the floor. This is the human version of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. If you’re pretending to be confident, keep your head up. By the way, an ostrich only sticks its head in the sand to check on its eggs.
- Speak at a reasonable volume. When you’re feeling shy, you’re likely to speak too softly. It’s better to be a little too loud than a little too soft if you’re trying to appear confident.
- Use gestures when you speak. Gesture naturally when you’re speaking. Watch your favorite actor for tips. Just ensure they’re playing a confident role!
- Tell yourself that you’re confident. Repeat to yourself, “I am confident and powerful.” Keep repeating it to yourself. It will crowd out other thoughts, and you might even believe yourself. Try out a few affirmations and see which one makes you feel the best.
You can convince others that you’re feeling confident, even if you’re not. Adopt the mannerisms of someone who is confident, and you’ll look confident to the rest of the world. Tell yourself you’re a confident person. Once you start acting like you are confident, you start feeling confident. It’s funny how our brain works that way. Over time your boardroom confidence will become second nature.