Have you had the feeling that you are pretending to be someone you’re not and feel uncomfortable about it? It’s actually pretty common in many workplaces. The lack of self-confidence can really make you feel inadequate, no matter how optimistic you try to be. Good news is that there are ways to fight it! Sometimes, it’s more about believing in yourself than if you have any experience doing it.
Here are 8 ways to look like a pro and feel confident, even when you’re entirely sure what you’re doing.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
1. Act like you know your stuff
As the saying goes, “fake it till you make it”. If you have no idea what you’re talking about, make other believe that you do. Avoid using filler words like “hmm”, “umm”, “uh-huh” frequently and talk slowly. Use an authoritative and confident tone to cover up any uncertainty in your voice. By doing so, people would think that you’re the domain expert in whatever it is you’re presenting.
More importantly, always think about what you want to say and be prepared. This can prevent you from mumbling or having random pauses during your speech.
2. Listen more than you speak
Ever felt like nobody at work listens to you? Frustrating, isn’t it? Don’t be that person. People who talk a lot and don’t listen enough tend to be more insecure than those who do the opposite. When you’re feeling anxious, it’s natural to babble to avoid any awkward silence. Those who are really confident are quiet and composed. They already know what to do and they know what they know.
Hence, to seem more confident, try to listen way more than you speak. Ask open-ended questions and let others share their thoughts. Carry on the conversation by asking more relevant questions about why they think so, what they’ve learned from it, and what can be done to further improve it. A great tip for those who always can’t seem to find the right thing to say when they are nervous, just stay calm and ask for others’ opinion. Since only confident people are comfortable with letting others speak instead of being the centre of attention all the time, you got nothing to lose here!
3. Maintain good eye contact
People who avoid eye contact are seem lack of self-confidence, but giving too much eye contact make you look overly intimidating. You want to find the right balance and give just the right amount of eye contact to the person or group of people you’re talking to. According to Lifehacker, making eye contact 60 percent of the time is a good general rule. However, it depends mostly on the situation, but it a good gauge to ensure you are engaging without coming across as aggressive.
It takes some practice to master eye contact. Try practicing with your friends and family and get feedback from them. If you’re having a tough time looking into someone’s eyes, a common tip is to look at their nose instead as it would give the person an illusion that you’re looking at their eyes.
4. Use the right body language
Avoid showing body language that scream low confidence such as:
- Rubbing your hands/arms excessively
Replacing those with some high power poses that show you’re confident and comfortable being in front of a crowd. Stand up tall and be more open to take up more space in the room establish dominance. In addition, practicing the right body language always can actually increase your confidence.
5. Never put other people down
In general, people who like to talk bad about others do so to make themselves feel better. They don’t feel good enough about themselves and speaking badly of others give them the hope that they look better comparatively. Always remember that putting other people down doesn’t lift you higher. People who are confident don’t need to do because they feel comfortable with who they are. They accept who they are and only compete against themselves to be better.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Many people mistaken asking for help as a sign of weakness since it shows incompetence and lack of relevant experience. But, confident people are secure enough to admit their own weaknesses. They aren’t afraid to ask others for help when needed since they are secure about their shortcomings. And the person who get asked will feel honoured that his or her expertise is being recognized by others.
Hence, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t only show that you’re humble and willing to learn, but also confident.
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