How to Look (and Feel) Confident
This is going to sound really harsh, but it has to be said:
Do you look like a loser?
Or worse: Do you feel like a loser?
A few months ago, I was speaking at a leadership conference and met the keynote, a big-shot CEO. We were chatting about the conference sessions and he mentioned one in particular that was not very well attended. “You know why no one wanted to go to that session? It’s because the guy leading it was a real loser!”
I was shocked by his statement and asked him why he thought the speaker was a loser. He said something that has stuck with me:
“He feels like he doesn’t belong, he feels like he isn’t qualified, he feels like a loser and so that’s exactly what happens.”
If you want to get dates, win business and influence people you have to prep your confidence both inside and out.
But how do you cultivate a confident presence and mentality? Let me show you how:
1. Use Your Body and Your Words
Most people go on interviews or dates and only think about the words they are going to say. They think about what they are going to say, but rarely think about how they want to say it. Nonverbal communication makes up at a minimum of 60% of our communication ability–some say its up to 93%! So if you only focus on your words, you are only using 40% of your ability. You have to get in the habit of portraying confidence with both your verbal and nonverbal content.
2. Claim Territory
Amy Cuddy and researchers at Harvard Business School found that the more expansive you are–roll your shoulders back, firmly plant your feet, open your chest and keep your head up the more confident you feel and the more confident others perceive you. This is called power posing–taking up space with your body. Putting your hands on your hips, doing the Rocky or even dancing are all forms of taking up space.
In mock-interviews, the researchers had participants power pose before they walked into the room. Those who power posed were rated as more confident, intelligent and skilled. Most importantly, those candidates FELT MORE POWERFUL!
So be sure you power pose before you walk into a meeting, party or interview.
3. Question Inflection
One of the biggest mistakes people make with nonverbal confidence is with their voice tone. Confident people never use the question inflection on statements. For example, be careful not to say your name as a question, i.e. “My name is Vanessa?” You want to make it authoritative by going down at the end of the sentence. “My name is Vanessa.” Make sure to use the authoritative tone whenever you answer a question to show you are sure of your words. Research has found that especially on dates, women who use the question inflection are seen as more untrustworthy by men. Check out the video to hear how I demo this.
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4. Eye Gazing
Confident people know the power of eye gazing. To increase your confidence, be sure to look people in the eye as you are speaking AND as they are speaking. Too often we look away, check our phone or scope out the rest of the room. This is not only rude, but very low confidence.
Fronting is when you aim your torso and toes towards the person you are speaking with. Nonverbally, this is a sign of respect. When you do this you look incredibly focused, put together and charismatic. So be sure to always keep your toes and torso aimed at the person you are speaking with.
Want to really pump up your body language? Check out our book Captivate!
Ever wonder what makes people tick? Want to know the hidden forces that drive our behavior? In Vanessa Van Edwards new book Captivate, she explains a simple blueprint for hacking human behavior. In this science packed, anti-boring guide you will learn:
- The formula for fascinating conversation
- How to walk into a room full of strangers and make a killer first impression
- What to do to increase your impact and income using people skills
- Our strategy for hacking the people code–we call it the matrix (Keanu Reeves not included with each book sale)
- The art and science of understanding people
Learn the new–science based way for winning friends and influencing people.
Here’s the most important part:
I want you to bookmark this post right now and save it for when you have a big date, important meeting or event.
So, next time you are getting ready, waiting in the parking lot or trying to prepare you can watch our five minute video to remind yourself how to get PUMPED UP.