For over the last two weeks, I was in a self-assigned personal task. For over a year or so, I introspect, I have lost my faith in myself. I felt I present myself as a diffident person. Time has made me feel that I look tired, and bored as well.
So I tried to look at others. To see how they behave. To see how they present themselves. For over 15 days, I did it and here are my observations to boost your self-confidence while you present yourselves. I have observed my friends, my colleagues, strangers on the road and some political leaders on the web. Most of these are already on internet, but I feel I should write about what I personally saw.
- Take Long Steps, Walk Fast
Remember how Gandhi walked? How Sonia Gandhi walk? How Modi walk lately? There are videos on internet where Modi walks slowly which, according to me, makes him look dull. But when he walks fast and takes long steps, he looks more confident.
Most of those influential leaders walked fast and/or took long steps while walking. Besides, they kept their head straight and high while walking. Practise yourselves!
- Never stand like a Zombie
Watched some movies and saw how characters behave when they are in a diffident situation. Postures in such occasions seem to be homogeneous. If you look like a zombie – stiff-headed and with your feet closely attached – you look very much diffident. When you stand, make sure that one of the legs is kept forward compared to the other. When you listen, lean a bit forward so that the person who talks finds you as a comfortable partner.
Do not keep your hands in pocket. Watch some old movies of Nedumudi Venu, in which he keeps his hands always in pocket of his pair of trousers to look dull and shy.
Shake your hands firmly. Whenever I have had chances of shaking hands with some dignified personalities, I have experienced firm handshakes. That’s a bit dominating, though, if the partner’s is not firm. But you will come across as confident.
Make sure that you do not throw your hands in air unwontedly. Gestures are fine unless they make the partner bored and awed. Make slow movements of hands. Watch Steve Jobs’ speeches.
- Stand and sit Straight
Whenever I sat askew, I could see that I gradually felt bored. It showed on my face. So do stand and sit straight. You will feel the difference in a day!
- Look at their eyes
Usual one. If you do not look at the partner’s eye while talking, that’s gonna embarrass them. Further, if you look at their eyes, they will feel comfortable talking to you, as you present yourself as a good listener. Trust me, this ‘look’ will add to your confidence level as well.
- Speak less, but speak well
When you have to speak up, especially in a team meet or the like, make sure that you speak to the point and speak loudly enough. Make sure that you speak with enough intervals between a set of words in a sentence and reduce your aahs and umms. They are known as disfluencies. They show your low confidence level and in turn kills the credibility of your speech. I found my disfluenceies a tad higher and decided to join Toastmasters to correct it. Try that out!
Break your sentences to smaller segments. Do not use longer sentences. Prepare your speech to the extent possible. Check your grammar, too.
- Be still when you talk. Move around when addressing a group
Have you noticed your confident teachers? When they address a class of, say, 40, they walk a bit. They do not stand still and deliver the lecture. That’s an indicative of their confidence.
But when they talk to you in person in their cabin, have you seen them restlessly move here and there? No!
So when you talk to one person or to a small group, make sure that you do not move around too much. Do not be a zombie either. Control your movements.
When you talk to a larger group, unless you have a podium, make sure you take small steps and move back and forth while talking. Do not make sudden or drastic movements, in which case it will give a negative impact.
- Dress Right, Dress Smart, Dress Well
Dress for the occasion. Check with your friends if your attire is fine. If you dress right (right for the occasion) and well (well knitted and well fitted), you will feel more confidence and hence will look sanguine.
From personal experience, new dress gives you more confidence on your special days.
I used to go to gym for over a month, which I paused lately. I clearly remember, I felt (or at least seemed) more confident those days, especially while I walked. That helps for sure.
Typical in this list. When my colleagues smiled at me before they started talking about technicals at large, I felt composed and good about them. Smile is undoubtedly the sexiest curve on anyone’s body!