10 Easy Ways to Appear More Confident

Image of female student in a classroom

Based on advice from our professional trainers, we’ve compiled our Top 10 Ways to Appear More Confident: simple steps you can practice and master so that you can step into your next interview, presentation or important meeting with natural confidence.

1. Unlock tension

Where do you hold tension? Observe what happens to your body, your voice and your mind when you are under pressure. If you’re aware of any tensions you’ve got a better chance of getting rid of them and appearing more relaxed.

2. Breathe

This is a really easy one, because you’re already doing it! Get in the habit of breathing for every new thought or idea – this will slow you down and ensure your vocal delivery is energised.

3. Make Eye Contact

Confident people are happy meeting and sharing eye contact – avoiding eye contact makes you look nervous, disingenuous and apathetic. Eye contact creates a shared experience and builds trust.

4. Slow down!

Slow down: slow down to speak, slow down to make your point, slow down to breathe, slow down to think. Slow down. Remember you’re confident, you can take all the time in the world!

5. Own your mistakes

A mistake, a misstep, or a misspeak is an opportunity to learn something, and it’s also completely human. Don’t hide them, own them – and remember that your audience is human too.

6. Improvise

If - sorry - when things go wrong, embrace the opportunity to experiment and try something new. Going off-piste assures your audience you know what you’re doing, and if you can add a touch of humour to it, your audience will almost certainly be happy to join you on the ride.

7. Mix it Up

Change your style. A confident speaker can jump from the anecdotal to the serious, from the intimate to the universal. If you fall into a predictable rhythm, it’s likely that your audience will become entranced – but in the wrong way.  

8. Cut down on visual aids

I need a lectern, I need slides, I need a hand-out… lose the visual aids and focus on connecting your ideas to people. This will help to keep your audience engaged with what you are saying, and not on the PowerPoint behind you.

9. Rehearse

We tend to put this off, but it’s one of the most straightforward things we can do to improve our confidence. Unfortunately mumbling through your slides in the shower isn’t going to cut it, so rehearse properly and you will instantly reap the rewards.

10. Increase awareness

What’s working? What doesn’t work? Get into the habit of observing what you’re doing as you’re doing it, as this feedback is essential to the success of your future, confident self. Try and distinguish between choice and habit: a confident speaker will make choices and won’t be dictated to by habits.

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