Projecting confidence

Self-confident people often seem to be more successful in getting what they want. They can do that because they are good at expressing their value to others:

  • They have something to say and contribute
  • A clear goal, purpose or mission
  • Sincerely care about the outcome for their professional partners / the organization
  • Strong ability to listen
  • Comfort with themselves and the ability to make others feel comfortable

and:

  • The willingness to try something new
  • The willingness to make mistakes, even fail
  • Can easily show their human, approachable side

and, decisively:

  • Passion
  • Positive attitude
  • Enthusiasm (which is contagious and inspiring)

Body language

A lot has been written about body language; how standing a certain way or using deliberate gestures help get your message across more clearly. If any of those things make sense to you, by all means try them. But I think it’s a lot simpler.

Effective communicators believe in what they are saying. That’s basically all you need to know about body language. If you believe in what you are saying it will come out naturally in your gestures and your body language. If you do not believe what you are saying your tentativeness will show just as boldly.

  • Eye contact is important. It shows your commitment (whether your audience believes you or not is another question.)
  • Show you are engaged. Sit up straight, on the edge of your chair as you make your proposal.
  • Prove you are a good listener. Listen carefully and don’t interrupt. Answer the question being asked.
  • Dress the part. Match your appearance to the occasion. Details count.

Don’t spend time trying to “script” your body language to appear persuasive. Focus on content: what you have to say and how you say it.

Trust in your expertise and experience

Asking for something and the process of building trust and winning understanding can be nerve-wracking. When you are out of your comfort zone, stay confident. Remember it wasn’t all just luck. Your hard work and achievements got you where you are.