Confidence is the key to career success. People who exude confidence tend to be viewed as more competent and influential. However, there are many times when you may not feel confident. Perhaps while talking in front of a crowd, meeting a new person or having a one-on-one conversation with an intimidating coworker, you might have a hard time finding your confidence
By focusing on your physical presence, you can show confidence, even when you aren’t quite feeling it.
Stand up straight. Don’t lean or rest on the podium or wall. Stand up straight and tall, showing that you are actively engaged and interested in the conversation.
Maintain eye contact. Letting your eyes wander will make it seem like you’re disinterested. Don’t let yourself get distracted by your phone or other items in your surroundings. Focusing your attention on the person you’re talking to will make them feel important and respect you.
Nail that handshake. Make sure you are the one to initiate the handshake and make it a good one. Firm, but not too hard. A good strong handshake will show your intent to say hello and that you are focused on them. (Check out the “Common Courtesy” course for a tutorial on how to shake a hand.)
Touch their shoulder. When you go in for the handshake, lightly touch the other person’s shoulder with your other hand. Touch is powerful and a brief touch on the shoulder can show warmth and leadership while also putting the other person at ease.
Take up space. Don’t just stand passively when speaking, use gestures. Take up space with your arms, the more space the more confident you’ll look. Just make sure your gestures aren’t too extreme. Take up space, but also remain professional.