How to project confidence when you’re really not feeling it

Confidence is often a trait we most admire in others, and something we often wish we had much more of in ourselves.

However, while a few people may be naturally born with oodles of confidence, the rest of us mere mortals have to work on it.

The great news is though, confidence is a skill we can all easily get better at with practice. Actors are natural communicators and have mastered the ability to control their nerves and project confidence immediately – in any situation. And as all great performers know, confidence is as much about appearing confident as it is about feeling it.

Here are our three ways to appear super confident (even if you’re really not feeling it).

Look at your posture

Your posture has a powerful influence on the way you feel and how others perceive you. The way you feel really affects the way you hold your body… If you feel happy you will naturally tend to walk taller and look up. If you’re feeling low and less assured you’ll tend to cast your gaze downwards and maybe slouch. But the reverse is also true. Adjusting your posture to be more upright and open will automatically make you feel more confident. Try this simple exercise. Before you go into a situation where you have to demonstrate your most confident self, just take a moment to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and hold your head high.

Focus on the positive

Choosing not to focus so much on what could go wrong in a meeting, pitch or presentation will allow you to concentrate on the many positive things that could happen instead. This doesn’t mean ignoring or planning to head off potential problems. But spending too much time analysing the negatives can zap enthusiasm and energy and leave you feeling less confident. If you focus more on the positive, people will see a more upbeat and confident outward appearance, which will also help you feel more confident and upbeat too.

Sound confident

Nerves often show through very clearly in your speech. Learning how to speak confidently is a really great tool in your confidence toolbox of skills. Slow down the way you speak. More than you really think you need to to start with. Not only will it help with any nerves, but your audience will feel less like you are talking at them and more like you’re having a conversation with them. Be aware though if you talk too slowly you may send your audience to sleep! Think also about the content and conciseness of what you are saying. Edit down your content and avoid using filler phrases, instead use strategic pauses and silences to your advantage.

Bonus tip 4 …

Practice, practice and practice some more

The key to doing anything really well is practice, and it’s something we recommend and incorporate into all of our learning and coaching sessions. Practice does really make perfect, and will help you to appear, and more importantly, feel much more confident!

Need more help with Staying Composed and Projecting Confidence?

Our great module Stay Composed & Projecting Confidence  reveals the secret tips actors use to control their behaviours to project belief and inner strength – helping you to silence the voice of doubt and confront any difficult individuals or challenging business situations with more confidence.

Participants learn how to:

  • Manage negative or intense emotions more effectively
  • Control emotions and project professional behaviours
  • Increase confidence in challenging situations
  • Face up to any problem person or situation quickly and directly
  • Project self-assurance and confidence to all levels in the business
  • Project confidence in their own judgement or ability
  • Project calmness and authority in difficult, confrontational or stressful situations
  • Deal with nerves better

Discover more about our unique approach to behaviour change below …