Let's face it confident people stand out. Not just in job interviews but in all areas of life. Individuals that exude confidence wield more say, get listened to and seem to get further ahead in life.
If you're not feeling as confident as you once did, never fear...with just five simple changes to your body language we will have you feeling more confident in no time.
Yep, you should have listened to your mother when she told you to “stand up straight!”. A key factor in appearing confident is having great posture. Standing tall and sitting up straight in your chair in a meeting or in an interview is vital.
With the handshake just about gone, (thanks COVID!) your first impression is now made with your stance. So, stand tall and show up with poise and purpose, it makes you instantly appear more engaged, focused and confident.
2. Maintain eye contact
So many people find this one difficult, especially when your confidence might be a little low. Maintaining eye contact instantly builds rapport with the person you are talking with, so start by looking in their eyes. If your gaze drifts away, keep consciously coming back to their eyes.
An easy way to do this is to crack a smile. Smiling will naturally draw them into making eye contact and will make you appear more confident, friendly and approachable.
3. Have an open stance
What does it say when you meet someone and their arms are crossed and their legs are crossed? A bit defensive? It is our natural defense mechanism to cross our arms when we are nervous or anxious. Be conscious that you are doing it. Just breathe! Consciously relax and uncross your arms. Instantly you appear more confident. With time it will come more naturally, but even if you have to fake it before you make it, that’s okay!
4. Quit saying 'Um' and 'Like'
Um, like, yeah. I mean, um...
It hardly sounds professional does it! If you want to be heard and stop people talking over you, try not to start your sentences with um, like or hmmm. Take a moment before you speak to clearly articulate what you are going to say and then say it purposefully. It will have much more impact and you will appear so much more confident.
5. Engage in active listening
This one sounds easy but, in a world where everyone wants to talk, sometimes the most powerful thing you can do to appear more confident is to listen.
Instead of worrying about how you appear and what smart thing you’re going to say next, take a moment to really listen and become engaged in the conversation first rather than immediately responding with the first words that come to mind.
Show some genuine interest. You will be surprised how your response will come much more naturally the more engaged you are in what is really being communicated.
All these tips will take some practice. Have a go at building your confidence in your next meeting by trying a few of these tips out. Tell us how you went!