Confidence gives you an advantage in any situation. You’re more likely to ace an interview, charm your date, or convince your child to eat their vegetables when you’re sure of yourself. In fact, just looking like you’re confident is often enough to make you more persuasive and successful.
Try these tips for training yourself to look confident under pressure.
Exercise regularly. It’s easier to look and feel confident when your body is strong and limber. Find a variety of physical activities you enjoy and will want to maintain.
Breathe deeply. Use your breath to calm and center yourself. Lengthening your exhalations helps you to feel braver and manage stress.
Avoid fillers. Upgrade your communications by cutting the “ums” out of your vocabulary. Replace those fillers with a strategic silent pause instead.
Prepare small talk. Conversation skills can be learned. If you often struggle to find something to chat about, brush up on interesting news stories or funny anecdotes you can share at parties or networking events.
Express interest. Your anxiety levels decrease when you focus on others. Listen attentively, show enthusiasm, and ask relevant questions. You may make new friends and feel more connected to your old ones.
Think positive. Pay attention to the things you like about yourself and others. Make a list of the events and experiences that you’re grateful for. Being upbeat will help you to appreciate your strengths and aim higher.
Create a mantra. Your self-talk can undermine your efforts or boost your sense of self-worth. Find some words and phrases that lift you up. Post them somewhere you can see them and repeat them to yourself a few times each day.
It’s natural to feel nervous in high-stakes situations like business presentations and some social situations. The more you practice looking confident, the more effective you’ll become at making a positive impression on others and strengthening your belief in yourself.