You know when a confident person steps into the room. You can feel it. Her body language emits strength, pride, and surety. Yet at the same time many suffer from insecurity that takes its toll in little ways on the body. When people see someone who appears frail and weak in his physical approach, it can transmit a lack of ambition and power.
So many people focus on what they say as a way of projecting confidence, but for many their words simply support perceptions of weakness and perhaps the results of the "imposter effect." In fact, some people will best show their confidence and strength by never uttering a word.
Whether or not you choose to stay silent is up to you, but either way these tips will help you appear highly confident even on your most questionable days.
1. Keep your head up.
People who stare at their feet feel unapproachable because they have essentially closed themselves off from talking to other people. Keep your head up and look around you. People respect you if you are looking strong and straight ahead.
2. Sit up.
According to a study from Spain, slouching forward emits a feeling of doubt. Sitting up straight with your chest out emits confidence to others, keeping you open to conversation and poised.
3. Or stand up.
If others are standing over you, you look smaller and far weaker in the social context. So simply stand up and meet people at their respective level. Don't do it half way. Stand tall, even if you are only five foot five like me.
4. Have a firm grip.
You don't need to crush someone's hand to share your confident energy. But a soft and limp handshake will put people off and make them question your resolve.
5. Make eye contact.
There is nothing worse than a person whose eyes constantly evade yours. You find yourself asking, "Why is that person avoiding me? What is he hiding that he can't look me straight in the eye?" Direct eye contact isn't easy for some, and it requires a sense of timing or the eye contact becomes threatening or awkward. When you do it right, however, it makes people feel connected and has been proved to be one of the most powerful tools in the art of flirting.
6. Stay close.
People that stay far away from others transmit a sense of caution and fear. Those that have no problem staying close to other people emit a sense of strength and confidence. Of course, standing too close can be imposing. Make sure you allow people their personal space.
7. Dress well.
People will often judge your state of mind by how you look and what you wear. If your hair is a disaster, your attire doesn't match, and the shoes you are wearing are dirty, people will think you don't think enough of yourself. Walk in wearing your best and smelling your best, so people can feel the confidence brewing.
8. Have a great gait.
If you trudge along, people will notice your lack of enthusiasm. Of if you rush about frantically, they will sense your anxiety. Let your gait express a sense of freedom and graceful movement.
9. Pay attention.
Looking distracted is distracting to both the distracted and the others in the conversation. Keep focused on the conversation and participate when appropriate. If it looks like your thoughts are elsewhere, you will appear as though you have little self-control.
Cranky people are perceived as unhappy and dissatisfied. At the end of the day, there is no stronger indicator of joy and confident energy than a smile. Smiles make everyone feel better, and they also brighten our own days even when our insides are in deep question. Share the best parts of you, and never let them see you frown.