There is no magical elixir in business. However, if there’s one thing that amplifies everything else, it’s confidence. The more confident you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful.
The Importance of Confidence in Business
Confidence, which can be described as assurance in your skills, capabilities, and self-worth, is an important factor in business success. Here are some reasons why:
- Confidence gives you the motivation and drive to be a self-starter – i.e. someone who takes initiative and makes things happen without being told to do so.
- Confidence makes you more likely to stand up for yourself when you’re being treated unjustly.
- Confidence gives you the ability to say “yes” or “no,” regardless of what others think.
- Confidence fights back fear and gives you the motivation to venture into unknown situations.
- Confidence allows you to influence others and become a more persuasive person.
- Confidence helps you win.
If you want to grow as a professional and build powerful businesses that have a real impact and produce actual change, you need to get a hold on your confidence. More specifically, you need to project confidence so that those around you are compelled by your words, presence, and actions.
5 Ways to Project Confidence
The interesting thing about projecting confidence is that it’s not directly dependent on being confident. While it’s certainly easier to project something you have, there is such a thing as “faking it until you make it.” With that being said, here are some specific steps you can take to project confidence:
1. Give Up Perfectionism
One of the reasons for your lack of confidence could be the pursuit of perfectionism. You strive to be perfect, even when it’s impossible, and then feel the weight of not measuring up to your own unrealistic standards. By focusing on progress over perfection, you’ll find it easier to be confident in yourself.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Whether right or wrong, we tie a lot of our self-worth up in our appearances. And, for better or worse, other people judge us based on how we look. If you want to feel confident (and project it) in a business setting, you need to take care of yourself.
Take hair loss as an example. If you’re going bald, it’s likely that your confidence is also waning. By addressing hair loss, you can improve your appearance and spark a new level of confidence in who you are.
3. Show Up Prepared
Unless you’re part of a rare breed of human who can intelligently speak off the cuff, you need to show up to meetings and presentations overly prepared. By memorizing what you’re going to say – at least in a bullet or outline format – you’re free to speak with conviction. (Compare this to someone who stumbles all over their words and becomes frazzled when things go slightly off course.)
4. Control Your Voice
In addition to studying your appearance, people will listen to your voice. If your voice is confident, people will feel moved to action. If your voice is weaselly, it’ll leave people uninspired. A confident voice begins with good vocal projection.
As Communispond explains, “Voice projection is dependent upon your breathing. If you are taking quick, shallow breaths, the amount of power you can put into your voice and words will be limited. Instead, you should try to keep your breathing in mind as you speak and take deep breaths using your diaphragm.”
In addition to breathing, think about enunciating your words, taking pauses, and avoiding fillers words (like, um, uh, and, etc.).
5. Be Purposeful With Body Language
Body language is another key element of projecting confidence. You want to make yourself as big as possible by pulling your shoulders back, putting your chin up, and talking with your hands. When listening to others talk, make eye contact and place your fingertips together in a triangular position. Little details such as these make a big difference.
Give Yourself an Advantage
At the end of the day, confidence is an advantage. It’s a value-add to your professional resume and plays a key role in helping you accomplish your business goals. By projecting confidence, you can become a more powerful and influential figure inside and outside of your company. Don’t delay in implementing these hacks!