Increasing your confidence can help you in a variety of ways, from making you more likeable, to making others feel more comfortable talking with you.
It also increases your chances that people will listen to you, buy from you, and believe you.
What’s more, confidence creates decisiveness.
“And in business, you have be decisive in order to move in the right direction,” explains Sharon L. Lechter, noted businesswoman, investor, and co-author of more than a dozen books under the Rich Dad brand.
“We’ve all heard the term analysis-paralysis. It is the lack of confidence, where you overly-question yourself. Instead, have faith in what you’re doing, and trust in your experiences, to help you create that decisiveness.”
Zoe Share, CEO of Schmooz, a Toronto-based communications company, adds that while confidence is “innate in certain people, it’s also something many people have to learn.”
(what better way to learn how to confidently schmooze, than from the founder of a company by the same name.)
“If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you? You have to command that confidence.”
So, here are six basic tips on how to command confidence:
- Dress the part – People look at image first, before personality (although personality is what sells all the time). We all know that first impressions count. Having the right image – as opposed to baggy pants or a tee shirt – definitely brings out confidence.
Especially if you are doing presentations, remember that the audience is watching you, before they listen to you, so look like the amount you want them to buy.
- You know things others don’t – Everyone has some expertise, in something. See yourself as the expert in what you are talking about, sharing about, or selling. People listen to, buy from, and want to do business with experts, especially when they have the credibility to back it up.
- Avoid self-defeating thoughts – As Ms Share explains, many people feel ashamed when they perceive that they have certain “flaws” – be it appearance, lack of success, or fear of failure – and that emotion holds back their confidence.
“Have the confidence to admit you don’t know something or you don’t have something. Know what you know, and what you don’t know. It allows you to own who you are,” notes Share.
“Then, you’re in a place where you can accept growth.”
Be grateful with what success you do have, rather than comparing it to others, and that will likely suppress those self-defeating thoughts, she adds.
- Body language – “Having the right body language is also a good way to project confidence,” notes renown business coach Camilita Nuttall.
“Look up, talk to people straight in the eye, give a firm hand shake, and maintain the right posture. All of this shows whether you value yourself, and your client.”
- Speak strongly – Avoid “uptalk”, as in ending statements as though they were a question. Also avoid “um” and “you knows.” Don’t interrupt others (it’s a sign you’re insecure about conversation). Don’t speak too quickly, or it seems as though you’re nervous. Project your voice, and thus, feel more confident.
- Smile – Nothing says confidence like a big bright chin-up smile, fired directly at the person you’re speaking to. Smiling, as it happens, triggers endorphins and serotonin, the happy hormones, making us feel even happier. It’s tough to be shy when you’re happy. Your smile will beget your fellow’s smile. By helping each other feel more comfortable, you’re helping each other become more confident.
Dave Gordon | DBPC Blog