7 Ways to Look Confident during Presentations (even when you’re not)
Cathy Recto October 29, 2013
There are those who can walk into a crowded room and give a self-assured presentation in front of all unfamiliar faces. And then there are those who require a bit more push. Which of the two are you? Take this quick quiz to find out if you look confident during presentations :
Do you have good posture? When it comes to looking confident, the way you stand matters. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, chins up and eyes straight ahead. Take wide steps. Avoid slouching or putting your hands in your pockets. Research has shown that just as the mind can influence body language, body language can also influence mood and mental disposition.
Do you dress well? You may have heard of dressing for success. Well, why not dress for confidence? Find something that fits you well and is comfortable. When you look good, you actually feel good. And when you feel good, you become more certain of yourself.
Do you maintain eye contact? You don’t have to stare but when you’re speaking or are being spoken to, look at the person straight in the eye to show you’re interested and sure of yourself.
Do you speak slowly? When you get nervous while presenting, there’s a tendency for your voice to go higher and your speech rate to go faster. You may not realize this but your audience can and may take it as a cue of your anxiousness. Take deep breaths and relax. Relaxing allow you to speak slower and boosts your confidence inside and out.
Do you smile? Unless you’re discussing a sad topic, it’s quite easy to have a consistently grave look on your face when you’re uncomfortable while presenting. Don’t let your audience see through this by smiling once in a while at appropriate times. Forcing yourself to smile likewise eases your inner tension.
Do you have a role model? Many of those who act confident during presentations even if they’re really not are simply mimicking the mannerisms of someone confident they know. Pick a confident role model you admire. Identify his confident characteristics and incorporate them into your own.
Do you try to become more extroverted? There are those who are convinced that you can fake confidence till you make it. But there are those who insist that faking in itself is acting and acting per se requires some confidence to begin with. In this sense, it helps to step out of your comfort zone to develop confidence.
Put yourself out there and literally practice confidence. Accept leadership positions. Join social clubs. Don’t wait till you face the crowd and present your slides to act like you’re confident. After all, the best kind of confidence seen from the outside is one that’s genuine on the inside.
If you answered “yes” to most of the questions, then give yourself at least 50% boost in the appearance of confidence during presentations and all the benefits that come with it.
By looking confident, you silently give your audience this message: “I’m credible and know what I’m talking about. I also believe in what I’m saying and so should you.”
Needless to say, confidence is not just an asset good to have during presentations. It’ll get you places, introduce you to new and interesting people and open up more opportunities for you.
What other ways have you tried to make you appear more confident during presentations? Let us know through your comments below.