Image by Karen Highland
Ever wondered why some people seem to ooze confidence and others… well, just don’t? We've created a list of quick-fix methods that you can put into practice to go from shy retiring wallflower to someone who commands attention.
1. Stop slumping
In the next meeting you’re in, take a look at your colleagues sitting around the meeting table and more specifically at their body language. The most confident person in the room – or the one who appears to get their point across effectively – is often identifiable not just by what they’re saying, but also by their posture.
Sitting with your shoulders back, a straight back and your chin up will not only make it easier to project your voice, but you will feel and look more confident in what you’re saying.
Try it now at your desk, even a subtle difference of a few millimetres in your posture can make you feel completely different in terms of positivity and confidence, both in and outside of meetings.
2. Cut out the ums and errs
We all do it, but umming and erring makes you sound less confident. You may have all the knowledge in the world, but replacing gaps in your speech with fillers can have a negative impact on your ability to command other people’s attention.
If you need time to think about your next point, simply pause, take a breath and move on.
3. Have a list of points you want to make
Most well run meetings will have a formal agenda, ensuring that attendees don’t go off on a tangent with their discussions while giving each attendee an opportunity for ‘air time’. To make the most of your allotted time, it’s a good idea to have your own private agenda – a list of points that will ensure you appear confident in your delivery and more importantly get the most out of every meeting you attend.
4. Don’t fill silences and pauses in the natural flow of conversation
Sometimes, after you've spoken, people will look back at you without saying a word. This could be for a number of reasons, from them taking a moment to digest what you've just said, through to wanting to make you feel uncomfortable (yes it does happen). This can be unnerving and it’s tempting to fill this often awkward silence by rambling and talking unnecessarily.
Being well prepared for your meeting and knowing what you want to say will eliminate any internal panic during ‘awkward’ silences, allowing you to simply smile back at colleagues/clients and ask them for their own opinion.
5. Unleash your inquisitive nature
For many people, asking a question in a meeting is something they avoid as they don’t want the spotlight to switch to them, or risk having people disagree with them.
It is incredibly difficult to succeed in business when your main priority is trying to cause as few ripples as possible. In business, innovation often springs from questions and their resolution, again and again until the final idea is formed.
Build your confidence in meetings by staying curious and asking relevant questions of your colleagues and clients. You will look more confident, engaged and ultimately add additional value to every meeting you attend.
Do you have any tips to add for being the most confident person in the room? Have you overcome nerves or an introvert nature in the past to transform your self-confidence? Our Twitter followers would love to hear your views, so tweet @Flexioffices and we’ll retweet your advice.