Confidence is one of the most essential qualities that every professional needs to succeed. When you are confident in the workplace, you have the self-trust and assurance to achieve your goals effectively and with ease – from minor daily accomplishments to big challenges and long-term achievements.
That said, no one is simply born with confidence: it is built over time. Be proactive about building your confidence and take a few steps to boost it now.
Prepare in Advance: Develop Your Ideas
You will feel more confident sharing your own work when you have taken time to develop your ideas properly and have enough knowledge to speak securely on them.
- Research first: Have a great idea for a project, but don’t have the stats or evidence to back it up? Before bringing your proposals to the table, conduct a market analysis and background research to support why you think your idea will work.
- Become the expert: Even if you don’t share all your research and plans with colleagues, create brainstorming pages, outlines and even reports longer than what you will use – so you can be sure you will pare out the best of your ideas.
- Organize your thoughts: Arranging your ideas into an easy-to-read format, such as a handout or a presentation, in turn will help you arrange your thoughts in your head and allow you to speak with ease and confidence.
Refine Your Posture and Body Language
The way you carry yourself is incredibly influential: it can determine how you set a first impression and can influence how others perceive what you say. Let your first impression be a confident one with good posture and strong body language.
- The basics: Good posture is a basic need, both for your self-presentation and for your health. Maintain good posture by being mindful of how you sit at your desk, taking standing and stretching breaks, or practicing posture-based exercises such as yoga.
- Power posing: Once you have the basics down, think about how you can use your posture and body language to project confidence. In “power posing” to appear confident, studies show you actually may be boosting your confidence by feeling more powerful in your own stance!
- Body language: How you use your arms, facial expressions, and stance in a conversation can hold as much weight as your words. It can reveal your attitude and influence how receptive others are to what you say. Be aware of your own body language so you can use it to your advantage.
Confidence in Public Speaking
One of the most common fears is the fear of public speaking. This is no surprise: when we begin to imagine what could happen in front of a large group of people with all eyes on us, our fears can mulitply. To boost your confidence, tackle that fear head-on.
- Practice in private: First get comfortable with your speech or presentation in front of the mirror at home. If you know well what you plan to say, and how you look saying it – you can worry less when you’re in front of a group.
- Push yourself: Challenge yourself by finding situations outside of work that involve public speaking. Join a conversation group or a speaking club. The more you do it, the more confident you will be.
- Know your audience: When you know more about the context of your audience, such as who they are, their age group, their positions in an organization, etc. – you will become more comfortable speaking in front of them when you feel you can connect or relate to the individuals in the crowd.
Building confidence takes time, and it’s not always easy. But once you have confidence in yourself and in your work, what you can achieve may surprise you!