Confidence

3 key things that make you appear more confident

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When you trying to appear more confident, do you find yourself concentrating on one particular area of your image?  Perhaps you change your body language and adopt power poses. Or perhaps you change your outfit to something that’s a little more bold and authoritative. Concentrating on these areas is fine; they will boost your confidence, a little. But if you want a total confidence shift, you’ll have to focus on more than just one element of your professional image. You’ll need to focus on three; how you look, how you act, and how you sound.

As a business etiquette expert with an acute interest in confidence, I want to share with you my tips and advice on these three elements to help you look, act, and sound and appear more confident.

1. How You Look – Your Outfit

Despite the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, as humans we’re heavily influenced by first impressions, and we will make assumptions about another person based purely on the clothes they wear. If you see somebody in the office dressed more formally in a dark suit with impeccable grooming, you’ll assume that person is somebody important who’s got something to be confident about. In comparison, if you see somebody in the office wearing an ill-fitting suit in beige or light grey, you’ll immediately question that person’s level of authority and their level of confidence, too.

Whether we like it or not, appearance matters. So when dressing for your next business meeting, and you want to project a little more confidence and authority, here’s some outfit choices you can make:

  • Opt for a darker suit in navy, charcoal, or black. Darker colours will help you project more authority.
  • Choose a crisp white shirt to contrast with your suit. Instead of choosing a boring white shirt, choose one with unique buttons or detailed tailoring to stand out.
  • Add personality to your outfit with a striking pair of heels in red, blue, or your own signature colour.

2. How You Act – Your Body Language

[tweet_quote hashtags=”#appearance” ]After others have summed you up based on your outfit,[/tweet_quote] they’ll turn their attention to your body language. Do you use powerful body language gestures that make you look like the boss? Or, do you use more timid body language postures to blend into the crowd?  When aiming for a total confident look, you really need to make sure your body language flows on from your outfit and projects the same corresponding message of confidence to others. Body language is commonly where most people fall through because they’re not sure how to move, sit, and stand to look confident. But once you learn a few simple tips, you’ll soon discover  that confident body language is really quite attainable.

To use strong and powerful body language, here’s some things you can do:

  • Get your posture right. No more slumped shoulders or rounded back.
  • Keep your head high and don’t look at the ground when you’re walking.
  • Smile to relax yourself and the other person.

3. How You Sound – Your Voice

Once the other person has formed an impression of you based on your outfit and body language, you don’t want to ruin all your hard work by speaking with a timid or uncertain voice. When it comes to projecting confidence with your voice, it’s not only the volume of your voice you need to work on, it’s also the speed, enunciation and eliminating a major hurdle, the “upswing”.

To sound confident when you speak, try to:

  • Increase the volume of your voice by pushing more oxygen out of your lungs when you speak.
  • Slow down your speech and pause after important points.
  • Eliminate the “upswing” by making a conscious effort to push your intonation down at the end of a statement.

Confidence is a total look. [tweet_quote hashtags=”#confidenttips” ]To achieve a total confident look,  you really need to put effort[/tweet_quote] into every aspect of your external confidence: how you look, how you act, and how you sound. It’s my sincere hope that this article has provided you with practical tips to get you started. Of course, there’s always work to be done on your internal confidence, but let’s leave that for another time.

About Kara Ronin

Kara Ronin is a business etiquette and social skills expert. Her unique approach has been featured in TIME Inc., The Daily Muse, YFS Magazine, and many more. She is regularly interviewed on prominent podcasts and was ranked as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts to follow on Twitter. You can get social skills training by Kara in her new video course, Business Etiquette 101: Social Skills for Professional Success

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