We all know it’s important to be confident at work. The way you present yourself in business environments is pivotal to your success and something that should not be overlooked.
While your appearance and your mannerisms may not necessarily be indicative of your professionalism, or your ability to do your job well, these are nevertheless the things you will be judged on.
Whether it’s an interview for a job or a monthly meeting going over the last month’s results, your presentation skills and confidence are key to winning over your audience. If you look dishevelled and scared then that won’t inspire much confidence, whereas if you look proud and confident they’ll be more likely to want to work with you or trust your abilities.
Just look at Steve Jobs. Many things set Apple apart from other tech giants and there are multiple factors that contributed to their current status, but one of the aces they had up their sleeves for a long time was the showmanship of Steve Jobs.
Jobs was a man who not only had great ideas, but who could also make you believe those ideas through his compelling presentations that are now known as ‘Stevenotes’ (you can check them out here). If they had made some socially awkward techie unveil the iPad, you can bet it wouldn’t have been so successful at launch…
How to Appear Confident and Professional in Meetings and Presentations
So how can you mimic this kind of swagger and charisma to help sell your skills as a professional, and allow managers and executives to have faith in you? Here are a few quick methods.
1. Brush Up on Your Looks
You don’t need to look like Tom Cruise to be successful in business, but it certainly helps.
Studies have shown that better looking people tend to land better jobs and get taken more seriously than their less fortunate peers – so make sure you the best you can with what God gave you. Look after your skin, clean your teeth well, pay for a good hairstyle and make sure you shave – it will all help.
Something that can make a particularly big difference meanwhile is to boost your height (think shoes with a slight heel) as this can make us look more imposing as well as giving us more confidence in ourselves.
2. Use Large Gesticulations
In studies looking into the nature of charisma, it has been shown that people who use larger gesticulations are generally thought to be more confident and passionate.
The reason for this is that it makes us look enthusiastic because our body language is backing up what we’re saying. If you say something positive then, nodding might help others to feel like you really mean it, while nodding emphatically will tell them that you’re sure about it.
If you want to seem confident and attract attention then walk around, swing your arms and fill as much space as you possibly can.
3. Project Your Voice and Speak Slower.
Talking lower and projecting your voice will make sure that people hear you and lend what you’re saying more gravitas.
Practice projecting and maintain a good stance when you talk – this later point will also make you look more confident in itself. A basic tip when talking is to try talking slowly. This way you will appear calm and collected, and your audience will rate you as more intelligent too. Just make sure you don’t over do it, speaking unreasonably slow will have the opposite effect and make you look like a dim-wit.
4. Use Names Often
Remembering and using names is a great way to win friends.
This is because we are programmed to respond to our names and we tend to feel good when we hear them. If you are talking to someone and you use their name a lot, you will improve the way they feel about themselves and they will associate that feeling with you.
Furthermore, using names is very direct and personal which will make people take more notice of you.
5. Make the Last Touch
In dating using little touches is a great way to create a spark, but it can also be useful by making you seem more confident and dominant.
In any encounter, the person who get the last touch in will generally be considered the more confident, so next time you’ve finished in a business meeting with a colleague, try giving them a friendly pat on the back as they leave. They’ll feel good for the attention, while you will have subtly sent a signal that you’re the alpha in the group.
Evan Thomas works for incorporator.com.au. An ardent blogger, he blogs about a variety of aspects related to the business world in his articles. His firm specializes in providing company registration services in Australia.