Crow at the edge of a body of water puffing its chest to project an air of confidence even though it may actually be a little insecure.
These tips will have you crowing with confidence. Image: Eric C Roberts/Shutterstock

Fake it ’til you make it: How to seem confident even when you aren’t

18 May 2018

You want to seem self-assured, but your confidence is sorely lacking. Here are some tips on how to look more confident than you actually are.

Confidence is, and likely always will be, a hot commodity in the professional world (and one’s social existence in general, for that matter).

Confidence can be the gloss that really makes an idea you’re pitching stand out. When you’re wading into uncharted waters (a pretty inevitable part of gaining experience in any role), confidence can help make it seem as if you know what you’re doing until you actually do.

It can be the thing that seals the deal with an important client, as they are enthralled by your pizzazz, aplomb, moxie, swagger, panache, vivacity, zest or whatever other synonym suits your fancy.

However, confidence eludes many of us for a myriad of reasons. It could be that you’re a little bit nervous about speaking in public or are just shy in general, making it difficult to feel confident presenting ideas in the workplace.

Sometimes, people who are quite confident in normal circumstances can find that something has unsteadied them. You could have experienced a difficult professional disappointment or be licking your wounds after an embarrassing error (it happens to all of us, rest assured).

It’s not something everyone is naturally imbued with, and it’s not even something you’re guaranteed to hold on to consistently. So, how do you project an air of confidence even when it’s not there?

Well, for starters, granular changes to body language can go a long way. It’s all about resisting the physicality that feels most natural when you’re feeling a little insecure; for example, maintaining eye contact as opposed to avoiding it.

Keep your hands out of your pockets and stand up straight. When you feel small, you may be tempted to make yourself look small, but you shouldn’t be afraid to take up space. Good posture will automatically make you seem more self-assured.

Pounds to Pocket has compiled this infographic detailing a number of great ways you can make yourself appear to be full of confidence even when it is lacking.

Use these tips next time you’re sweating over an important meeting or presentation and don’t want that anxiety to spill into your behaviour, which risks undermining you and everything you (undoubtedly) have to offer.

For some more great confidence advice, check out the infographic below.

Image: PoundstoPocket

Infographic: PoundstoPocket

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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