When it comes to professional development, there are plenty of articles on how to grow your resume and build your expertise. Finding advice on how to grow as a person can be more challenging. Yet that’s what professionals need most: not just technical skills in their field but also personal skills that will help them thrive long-term. One common area for improvement is self-assuredness or confidence. This confidence isn’t bravado or arrogance; it’s simply sure of who you are, what you know, and what you want out of life. It is believing in yourself in the face of new challenges and disappointments. In a work setting, this translates into thinking positively about your contributions and feeling confident speaking up during meetings without worrying about seeming stupid or unqualified.
If the thought of meetings makes you nervous, regardless of your role and input, these tips can help you out.
Before entering any situation where you’ll be expected to speak up, practice beforehand. This will help clarify your thoughts and reduce your nervousness. If it helps, you can pretend you’re talking to a friend as if you were giving advice. Alternatively, you could try writing out your thoughts ahead of time, then reading them out loud. However, don’t script yourself word for word. If you try memorizing precisely what you want to say, you’ll sound too stiff and unnatural. It can be worthwhile investing in training to help you improve your confidence and learn new skills and tactics, such as an online negotiation program to hone your skills during negotiation meetings.
If you’re sitting at your desk, staring at the clock and replaying your performance in your head, you’re inadvertently visualizing yourself as feeling nervous and unprepared. This one might seem counterintuitive. Wouldn’t showing up 10 minutes early make you even more anxious? Perhaps, if you let it. But arriving early gives you options. This is your chance to get comfortable in the room, get acquainted with the setting, and start thinking positively about the meeting. You can also be there to greet everyone personally as they arrive without being flustered from arriving after everyone else.
Wear something you feel comfortable in
Clothing sends a message about the person wearing it, so this is one way to establish your new, confident image. But you don’t have to wear an expensive suit or designer shoes to convey this image. The last thing you want is to be distracted by ill-fitting clothes or a style you don’t feel comfortable in. If you feel comfortable in what you wear, you will feel more confident and won’t be put off or distract others in the meeting by fidgeting or rearranging your outfit.
A smile is a universal sign of friendliness and approachability. When you’re meeting new people or making a presentation, a smile can go a long way toward putting everyone at ease. If you have arrived early, greeting everyone personally with a smile can get you off on the right foot. You can also kick it up a notch by visiting a dentist who offers teeth whitening in boynton beach to enhance the look of your smile.
Make eye contact
Another way to communicate confidence is through eye contact. This can be intimidating, especially if you’re meeting new people or addressing a large group. But focusing your gaze on each individual in the room (starting with the person who asks the first question) can make a big difference in how people perceive you. To make eye contact less intimidating, try shifting your gaze from person to person in a slow, deliberate manner. Or, look at the floor or ceiling for a few moments before shifting your gaze. Keeping eye contact can be hard, especially if you’re self-conscious. If you’re having trouble doing this, try practicing in the mirror. Keep your eyes on your own eyes, not your eyebrows or forehead.