Confidence can be attractive – even magnetic. I am not referring to false bravado or pious smugness. I’m talking about real confidence – centered and fully aligned self-assurance. We have all met and worked with those individuals who exude power. Those folks who are the ‘real deal’ – the ones that signal to everyone else that they are in charge, deserve our respect, and simply make us stand up and take notice. As I have referenced in several prior blogs, true confidence – the “X-factor” in life and business comes from alignment and authenticity.
While we are growing and coming into our own as professionals and leaders, what are a few suggestions for us to come across confident and exude a natural sense of authority?
- Stand tall. My grandmother always taught my sister and me to keep our shoulders back, chin up, and to walk with a sense of purpose. Sage advice from our Mema. I am amazed at how many professionals slouch, hunch forward, and walk looking down at the floor. This puts forth an image of weakness and insecurity. Rise up! Folks will follow your lead – and you will assume the position in thought, word and body language. Remember, posture is powerful.
- Look them in the eye. Sure, this should go without saying; however, many do not face their audience head on. Direct your toes toward the person you are meeting. Amazingly, this simple change in focus will force you to change your entire stance to hold their gaze and attention. Resist the temptation to look around the room. When presenting, hold a person’s eye contact long enough to make a connection. When we do this, the other person feels as is they are the most important person in the room. It also shows that we are not intimidated.
- Stop going ‘high’ with your voice. Recently, I have been coaching many men and women who have adopted the habit of ending sentences with a melodic up-pitch at the end of every sentence – not just with questions. I do not get it. This leaves the recipient with doubt that you even know what you are saying is correct; as if you are asking for affirmation from them. Stop it. We need to use our voices in even tones – not too high in pitch, not too soft, and certainly not too loud. Modulate. Inflect as appropriate – and draw them into your message. If you want to learn from a master, watch Oprah. She uses her most deep, authoritative voice when offering her most powerful messages. Speak with authority.
- Smile economically. Ok, this one may seem a bit strange – yet, think about those individuals who smile incessantly. Often this can be perceived as needy and wanting approbation, or worse yet – insincere. I am all for smiling, nodding and giving encouragement to others; however, be real and genuine. Smiling for the sake of smiling can often be misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Check out the books in my Alignment Library which offer salient advice for women (and men) on how to appear self-assured while growing into a true sense of self-confidence. What advice or tips do you have to offer?