Having to speak in a meeting or doing a presentation in front of a group of people can shake some of us to the core. We can appear as though we are not confident in what we are saying and that can dilute the message we are trying to get across.
Although we may not realize it at the time, when we look at an individual and think, “Wow, they have confidence!”, it most often has to do with how that person is displaying themselves – the sway, the swagger, how they carry themselves, how they walk into a room, how they greet people.
Former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro says, “When we talk about confidence, it’s so many things. It has to do with our posture, the way we present, how we look, where’s our chin, where are the eyes looking and gazing? Our gestures are loose, but they’re smoother. As we walk about, we walk as though we are on a mission.”
While the way we present ourselves is very important, those things are much easier to accomplish if we have some key knowledge elements in place first:
- Have Mastery of the Topic at Hand
Know your stuff. Do your research. Know where you can learn more if you need to.
- Hone Your Skills
Get practice at what you are talking about. Test what works so that you can share your firsthand experience.
- Have Mastery of Yourself
Display assertive behaviors: Anticipate questions; remain cool, calm and collected; stay in command. Maintain eye contact. Watch your body language – be sure that your body language does not betray what is coming out of your mouth.
Before the meeting or presentation, take a few moments of self-reflection to set your mental approach and confidence.
Try telling yourself this:
I am prepared.
I am ready to answer questions.
I am going to answer questions effectively.
I am going to make sure people understand what I said.
I am here to convey. I’m not here to convince.
Wait, “I am here to convey. I’m not here to convince”?
Yes. Navarro says that when people are trying to convince someone, they tend to repeat points and can come across as weak, less confident and almost defensive. Approach the information you are sharing with confidence, an assertive demeanor and with facts (No need to be cocky).
As I tell my coaching clients, “If someone tells you that you have purple hair and you know you don’t have purple hair, then there is no need to be defensive, right? The facts are that you don’t have purple hair, so respond factually.”
Combining these knowledge elements (mastery of the topic, honing skills, and mastery of yourself) along with working on our physicality (posture, eye contact, eye movement, how we move) can make a huge difference in the way we are perceived and how our message comes across.
At True North Professional Development, we can help you develop assertiveness and more effectively display confidence. Give us a call at 425.835.2124 to learn more about our Business Coaching or how our Success-Minded Leader programs can impact your abilities.
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